The People’s Stubborn Response

Open Your Bible

Jeremiah 44:1-30, Jeremiah 45:1-5, Psalm 79:1-13, Isaiah 5:5-7

It is part of my parenting philosophy to never ask this question: “Why?”

When my toddler draws all over the wall with a Sharpie…
When my pre-teen opts to stuff all of his dirty laundry under his bed instead of in the hamper nearby…
When my kindergartener bursts into sudden tears because he can’t find the green crayon…

I’ve found that asking, “Why?” is more often than not met with bewildered stares, rather than deep, philosophical answers. And yet, in Jeremiah 44, when the Isrealites countered the news of God’s imminent judgment by digging in their heels, God, our loving Father, looked at His children and lovingly asked, “Why?”

“Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves?…
Why do you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands” (vv.7–8, ESV).

Our all-knowing, all-powerful God knew the answer, of course. But like all parents who struggle to fathom why their child would make a choice that leads to destruction, God voices His exasperation over His children’s persistent rebellion. The Isrealites in Jeremiah’s time were no different from us. Since the garden of Eden, all of humanity has been grossly warped by sin. Our very cells are broken; we run in glad rebellion away from the things of God. Like the apostle Paul, we are left to wonder, Why can’t I live the life Christ has called me to live? (Romans 7:15–20).

When our questions lead to discouraging answers, and we face the fact that the destruction we read about in Jeremiah is a picture of the punishment we deserve, Scripture invites us to ask a better question. Not why, but who. Who can save us from our sin and spare us from the punishment we deserve?

Jesus! Our righteous Savior, who took the punishment we earned, so that we might be spared the righteous judgment of the Father. When the weight of our sin feels crushing and the reality of our rebellion overwhelms us, we don’t need to bother with asking, “Why?” Instead, we can rest in the hope found in asking, “Who?”

“Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (Romans 8:33). Jesus alone is the answer, and nothing can separate us from His love (v.34,38).

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52 thoughts on "The People’s Stubborn Response"

  1. K D says:

    So very thankful for God’s presence even in times that just don’t make sense.

  2. PAT ELLIOTT says:

    We are all sinful – whether biblical times or now. We continue to have idols and go our way instead of God’s way. That is why Jesus is so important to us. He alone washes away our sins (past,present,future) so we may have fellowship with our God. Thanks be to God!

  3. Pamela Moretz says:


    How did Jeremiah know to warn us about the day in which we now live in?

    Oh … I know … The same Holy Spirit and author of God’s Word is both judgmental and loving to Us His children. The same Spirit just another timeline!

    This too will pass for those that believe and fervently claim Psalm 91!

  4. Lauren G says:

    Thank you, I needed that!

  5. Melissa Mcronney says:

    I needed this reading today.. and so many things has been distracting from finishing today’s reading. I’m glad that the Lord reminded me to keep reading.. Thank You Jesus.. help me to trust and obey in Jesus name Amen

  6. Ashley White says:

    Happy Monday, amen

  7. Jennifer Anapol says:

    The people put their trust in idols because when they worshipped these idols their life prospered and they didn’t see disaster. We will do whatever we can in our lives to steer clear of disaster. The problem is we can’t control when disaster comes knocking on our doors. We try and greasy for some type of control, but only God holds the control. I know I am guilty of trying to control my own life and thinking that by putting my faith in idols, I can have some type of control. May I trust in God and, and that he knows best.

    1. Margaret Terry says:

      I was just thinking of this last night. With so much falling to pieces right now, we all struggle to maintain the good things that were happening before this happened, a good economy mostly, but that is our vain attempt at making this world heaven, it isn’t heaven and never will be. We all want peace, plenty and health but this sin soaked world will never be that. I think just recognizing that helps the perspective and allows us to rest in Gods perfect peace no matter what disaster comes. This is something I have to meditate on A LOT, to not let what’s happening pull me down!!

  8. Bridgette Alvarez says:

    …We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 2 Chronicles 20:12 This situation that we find ourselves in has certainly shifted our attention to God and His might. Those that believe look to Him even more so and for the unbeliever, many will come to Christ. I’m more determined to share God’s word with others now. Let His word fall on good ground.

  9. Dorothy says:

    Amen Blessed Beth, Lauren Malone, Christen Price, Crystal Whitlock, Maura, Jenna Amen
    Wow preach it Chuchmouse, Bessie H., Angie, Courtney and we all say Amen
    Thanks for the tip Jonelle Olson, Monie Mag
    Mari V. I know the feeling I remember when my son turned 19.

  10. Anita Lee says:

    Today’s devotion is so timely to what has been occurring in our world. I pray that we all will humble ourselves and return to the Lord for healing in our land.

    “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
    ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  11. Dorothy says:

    “Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    from generation to generation
    we will recount your praise.” Psalm 79:13
    Despite all our wows, all the sickness, all the uneasiness and all the worry and concern going on right now we need to remember and follow what Psalm 79:13 says; give thanks and recount God’s praise. Give thanks for all those who care enough to try and find ways to cure and prevent throughout the world and that they are willing to work together despite their previous differences. Recount God’s praise for several things, that we have a loving God who cares, we have our SRT sisters to pray with us, and most of all that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for us so we can have eternal life. Yes these are dreary days (I’m not going to say dark because we have some good things) but we need to remember the good and the positive more so than the bad and the negative. Let’s remember also what Erin Davis said in today’s devotional, ” Jesus alone is the answer, and nothing can separate us from His love…” May all of you my sisters and your families be in God’s hands is what I pray today.

  12. Courtney says:

    Bessie and Churchmouse:

    You are both so right. Christ is our only guarantee in this life, our only rock. He is the only one we can count on for our every need. This has become all too clear to me over the last eight years, after the loss of 3 jobs, a home (after 12 years) (, the betrayal of a sibling, the crushing disappointment of a parent and a church that I had to leave (after 12 years) because it seemed to have a greater allegiance to politics than the gospel. But sisters I thank God for all that I have gone through, as it is because of this experience that I have come to know Christ as my faithful, ever-present father, compassionate, just, and loving. He, unlike all other things and people in life, will never fail you, my dear sisters. He’s good. No He’s GREAT! We serve an awesome God!
    Be Blessed today!

  13. Angie says:

    The why and what ifs don’t always add up.
    They leave me insecure and vulnerable.
    The Who is unchanging, all-powerful, secure, and dependable.
    The Who; my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
    Not just the Sunday School answer, the One and only answer to every thing.

  14. Jenna says:

    Lord God,

    You are holy and just. You are right in your judgments against sinful man. Lord, forgive me for the ways that I have sinned against you and chosen the things of this world over you. I pray that in this season of Lent that we would repent and turn back to you. Blot out our sins and give us seasons of refreshing from your presence. Help us to hold fast to you until Jesus returns to restore all things.

    In Jesus’ name,


    1. Holly MelynnEllis says:


  15. Mari V says:

    NOTHING will separate me from HIS love. NOTHING. I’m the one that needs to make sure that I continue walking with HIM. Life has thrown many curveballs at me but I keep my eyes on my Jesus who has never, never let me down. All the glory be to God! Today is my sons 19th birthday. I’m so thankful God chose me to be his mother. That boy has a good heart! He can drive me crazy at times but I know one thing. He loves Jesus. And that’s all that matters to this mom.

  16. May says:

    Why were they so stubborn? What are areas of my life where I so boldly tell God no to his face as they did?

    “But as for you, do you pursue great things for yourself? Stop pursuing! For I am about to bring disaster on everyone”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“but I will grant you your life like the spoils of war wherever you go.”

    Before March 13, this was me. I was pursuing ways to improve myself, to get a promotion, to find fulfillment, to get “me time”, to seek for . . me, me, me. Now in this time of renewal, I see the idolatry I have committed in worship of self. Lord forgive me, forgive us. Heal and restore our land.

    1. Kelly Broughton says:


  17. Sojourner says:

    Thank God for His loving intervention when He sends His prophets to warn Judah of their idolatry and give them a chance to turn from their sin and turn to God. It teaches me to be open to listen to the interruptions either through reading His word, counsel from friend etc.

    Reading this has also made me realise I have a false sense of security in false idols who promise me success and happiness instead of depending on God for true blessing that may or may not come in the form of material blessing. 

    Father I thank you for revealing my idols in my heart and where I have misplaced my sense of security and trust. Like Judah I’ve also put my trust and worshipped other idols in my heart, thinking that they will bring me happiness but instead they are all false gods who promise destruction and death. Turn my eyes away from worthless things and turn my eyes to see that You are the only life-giving God who gives true salvation and joy in life. 

  18. Maura says:

    Thankful that God is not ok with Judah or us. praising man made idols or god’s. He wants us to trust Him alone.Lord please help my heart to be only yours, you are the only one worthy of our praise. Jesus may the world that so needs you have eyes to see you and hearts that open to your Amazing glorious grace. Joy and love Sisters. He is on the throne loving us.

  19. Crystal Whitlock says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It blesses my heart to think about how my praise during this time is a pleasing sacrifice to Him. Yes, it feels costly, but it glorifies Him and enables me to focus on Who He is, and His power in all circumstances. ❤️

  20. Ann Toper says:

    All I can say is Thank You JESUS!!

    1. Kelly Broughton says:


  21. Sara Terry says:

    “ now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
    I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;
    I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.”

    This passage , although at the surface difficult , provides me with hope . I heard Beth Moore say that grapes thrive in rocky soil and don’t bear fruit unless the plant thinks it’s dying and needs to hurry up and reproduce. Even trials are for us and God works all things together for good to those who believe !

    1. Jami Moser says:


  22. Jen Brewer says:

    Good word, Rebecca. ❤️Ann Voskamp talks about this concept of giving thanks in all circumstances in her book 1000 Gifts. Also reminds me of these verses:

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      16 Rejoice always,
      17 pray without ceasing,
      18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

    2. Kat Cowell says:

      I’m just over halfway through for the first time (though I must admit I’ve been dipping in and out for a while), and yes it’s been so timely and applicable. So many incredible nuggets of truth and beauty, and so helpful for refocusing my gaze in this time when it’s tempting to keep looking inward and outwards, instead of upwards.

  23. Bessie H says:

    They say to wash your hands while singing ‘happy birthday’ twice. I find that silly, but I get the point of washing our hands longer than seems necessary. During this time I decided to find another song that I could sing that lasts 20 seconds.

    I’ve settled on ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

    This period that we are in has shaken everyone’s foundation. I’m praying that many will realize that their lives are built on sinking sand and that there is only one true foundation.

    Yesterday my brother decided during this time at home to paint his basement. In prepping for the job. He discovered that his foundation has been greatly destroyed by termites. They have slowly and quietly been eating his home. Understandably he is angry, scared and shaken. As he talked I was reminded of how this world is not our home and what we have stored up here will rot and decay. I wisely kept these thoughts to myself, deeming that they wouldn’t be helpful! But, I am more aware than ever that in this world we will have tribulation. We must trust in Christ who is the only sure foundation.

    1. Jonelle Olson says:

      You could also recite the Lord’s Prayer while washing!!

    2. Angela Guinn says:

      Thank you

    3. Kristina Moore says:

      So true! Such a great visual!

    4. Monie Mag says:

      Thank you Bessie, I decided I wanted my own song also to sing while I wash my hands. I knew right away it would be the first verse of “In Christ Alone”. I won’t be singing it (takes way longer then 20 seconds) but will repeat the word “In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song. This cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace. When fears are stilled, when striving cease. My Comfortor, my All in All. Here in the love of Christ I stand.” I’m a nurse so I will be repeating this often but to keep my eyes on Jesus❤️ May the peace of God that transcends all understanding fill you all.

      1. Carolee Moore says:

        Thank you. Times 2! ❤️

    5. Sharon W says:

      Amen Bessie H! what a beautiful song to wash our hands! I’m now singing, My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus love and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

    6. Nancy Singleton says:

      Love the song suggestion. I’m going to use it as well.

    7. Carolee Moore says:

      All good ideas and reminders! Thank you

  24. Elaine Morgan says:

    That’s a great perspective Rebecca! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Jenn says:

    Amen Churchmouse!

  26. Churchmouse says:

    Judah had traded the One True God for a foreign queen of heaven. Judah placed its trust in a man-made idol rather than the God Who had a trustworthy record of delivering His people. How far Judah had fallen! Stubborn Judah was not willing to release their grasp on the false. They refused to take hold of the only One who could save them.

    In this season of quarantine and isolation, idols are being revealed. Has my security been dependent on being successful at my job – but now that job is in peril? Has my security been dependent on my bank account – but now the stock market is shaking? Has my security been dependent on my exercise and body image – but now my health is threatened by an invisible microbe? Has my security been dependent on my family bond – but now we are separated for an unknown length of time? Has my security been dependent upon my participation in my church – but now we are a community only connected via Facebook and YouTube? Has my security been dependent on the routine of my life – but now I’m consumed with task force briefings and statistics? Has my security been in anything or anyone other than the One True God? Am I tightening my grasp on any of them rather than clinging to my Savior? Am I stubbornly refusing to reorder my priorities, my allegiances?

    Just as God essentially said “Enough!” to Judah, so may I say “Enough!” to my own rebellion. God is calling me out and I am humbled before Him. This season of quarantine and isolation is drawing me back to Him. He is God and He will not long tolerate anything else placed beside or above Him. He is revealing and shattering my idols. He is setting me free from the chains I had outwittingly allowed to take me captive. Enough! God, You are Lord alone. I ask Your forgiveness and I thank You for your revelation. I thank You for loving me through Your discipline. You are a good good Father. You alone are my security.

    1. Lauren Malone says:

      The other day, I had a bit of a breakdown. I really thought I’d been doing good and staying calm, but all of the chaos and unknowns finally got to me. You see, I’m a planner and I like control and safety, and that’s all pretty much been stripped away. Well, I never really had any control over these things anyway, so I guess I should say that’s just been made blatantly obvious, which caused me a lot of fear and anxiety. Then, the Lord in His loving kindness convicted me of how I had been relying on myself, how I’d idolized health, control, comfort, and even being responsible and washing my hands, eating healthy, social distancing (which are all good things) etc. as ways for me to have peace in this time instead of trusting Him, going to Him with my burdens, etc. I am so thankful for a Savior who convicts and forgives me for my shortcomings and then reminds me that He is in control, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that He cares for me and will be with me through it all.

      1. Christen Price says:

        I’ve felt the same way Lauren. Thought I was doing good but then had a moment. Trying to move forward in this new normal is a day by day act of trust in our mighty God and His plans!! Thanks for sharing!

    2. Terésa Timmons says:

      Thank you always for your eye opening perspective, Churchmouse! Blessings and love ❤️

    3. Jennifer Martin says:


    4. Mari V says:

      ❤️I’m going to read this to my kids!

    5. Angela Rohr says:


    6. Rita W says:

      Thank you Church as I can say I was riding in that same boat! But God!

  27. Blessed Beth says:

    Roman 8:38 is such a great reminder during these days I am claiming as my verse today “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    I pray this for all of us, let God hold you in His loving arms and rest.

    1. Jen Brewer says:


    2. Libby K says:

      Yes! Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder in these times of anxiety. Praying for all you ladies that you stay safe and healthy!

  28. Kristen says:

    I have been listening to the podcast from She Reads Truth. They read the prayer towards the end that confesses that we have sinned by thought and deed, in what we have done and what we have failed to do, and haven’t loved God with all our hearts, souls, mind, and strength and haven’t loved our neighbor as ourselves. (I’m paraphrasing.) I have been thinking of this prayer. It’s so true. They also give an assurance of forgiveness which is a scripture! Thank You, Jesus for all You have done, so we can be forgiven. May He help me to love Him and live a life pleasing to Him. I certainly can’t end this vicious cycle of anger, selfishness, tormenting thoughts, or pride by myself. I know that I am a work in progress, but I’m sometimes irritated and disgusted that I let the enemy win. I’m not going to be perfect, but I also should be aware of his schemes and not let him win. I have let the devil ruin times, steal from me , and plague my thought life. It gets old. One pastor said that we don’t go out physically undressed, so why would we got out spiritually undressed! Put on the full armor of God! “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
    ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    Jesus came to set us free! I want that. To whom the Son sets free is free indeed. May we walk in freedom today!