We sometimes assume that a great disaster will surely bring about revival – but that is not always the case. People don’t always connect the dots from great apostasy to great calamity.
In Jeremiah’s day he had a fascinating argument with the exiles in Egypt who had fled from the calamity in Jerusalem. They said that the disaster had come because they had STOPPED offering sacrifices to pagan deities.
“But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” (Jeremiah 44:18 ESV)
Things were going great, then we got caught up in a brief passion of revival and we stopped making our pagan sacrifices and that is precisely when disaster struck. We should not have stopped making our offerings to the queen of heaven!
That was the argument of the exiles.
Jeremiah however, said this:
“It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey the voice of the LORD or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.” (Jeremiah 44:23 ESV)
Jeremiah says that the disaster happened because they STARTED making those pagan sacrifices. Their brief, half-hearted revival was not enough to avert the wrath and chastisement of the Lord.
So which was it?
How can we know?
Of course, the Bible says that Jeremiah was right, but I share the story only to show that we mustn’t assume that a great calamity will result in a great revival. Sometimes people are so far gone in their sin that they cannot even correctly interpret the meaning of the giant red stinging hand print on their own backside.
That’s what it looks like when you are “dead in your trespasses and sins.”
Lord have mercy!
Pastor Paul Carter
To listen to Pastor Paul’s Into The Word devotional podcast visit the TGC Canada website; you can also find it on iTunes.