Jeremiah: Ishtar and God

This week’s Sabbath reading from the prophets is Jeremiah 7:21-8:3. I began reading the portion and wondered about the backstory of the beginning verses. So I began reading in Jeremiah 21:16.

The reason I entitled one of the books I have written “Journey With Jeremiah” is that so much of my life and what Adonai says to me, teaches me, comes from Jeremiah; so much so that sometimes I feel like I am that prophet in the world. Today is no different.

Beginning with verse 16:

“So you, [Yirmeyahu,] don’t pray for this people! Don’t cry, pray or intercede on their behalf with me; because I won’t listen to you. Don’t you see what they are doing in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim?  The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods! Are they really provoking me,” asks Adonai, “or are they provoking themselves, to their own ruin?” (Jeremiah 7:16-19).

These words are actually an answer to prayer for me. In the past few days I have been struggling with how to pray for a nation that no longer cares to hear what God has to say to them? How am I to pray for a nation that I know won’t repent because evil has been transformed into good? Is there even a prayer for a people or nation who consider righteousness wicked?

The answer God gave Jeremiah is “Don’t.” Don’t pray for them because He isn’t going to listen! For those who would argue otherwise believing that God hears every prayer, Adonai tells Jeremiah why He won’t listen and, His words are exactly for this exact day and time.

The people of God are worshipping the Queen of Heaven! Who is the Queen of Heaven? Ishtar who is commonly known as Easter in our culture. The short story of Ishtar is she is a goddess who had a son, Tammuz, who died by a wild boar attack. Those who worshipped the trinity of Ishtar (as the mother of god), Tammuz (as the son of god) and Nimrod (as the father god) mourned the death of Tammuz for a period of 6 weeks. Today that ‘mourning’ time is called Lent and, according to the prophet Ezekiel, is considered ‘disgusting’ by Adonai.

“He brought me to the entrance of the north gate to Adonai’s house; and there before me were women weeping for Tammuz.  ‘Human being,’ he asked me, ‘have you seen this? You will see practices even more disgusting than these'” (Ezekiel 8:14).

The designated reading for today:

“Thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el: “You may as well eat the meat of your burnt offerings along with that of your sacrifices. For I didn’t speak to your ancestors or give them orders concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.  Rather, what I did order them was this: ‘Pay attention to what I say. Then I will be your God, and you will be my people. In everything, live according to the way that I order you, so that things will go well for you.’  But they neither listened nor paid attention, but lived according to their own plans, in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, thus going backward and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:21-24).

There are no burnt offerings today, not because Yeshua’s death and resurrection cancelled everything, but because there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem. When there is another Temple/Tabernacle, there will be sacrifices again. It is even possible that this year, Pesach 2020, there will be a Passover sacrifice on the Temple mount for the first time since its destruction nearly 2000 years ago.

The significant part of today’s reading for anyone who claims to follow yod-hey-vav-hey is “Pay attention to what I say … living according to the way that I order you.” Unfortunately, because of the stubbornness in evil hearts and the desire of people to live according to their own will, those who worship other gods and goddesses will continue to go backward and not forward. The Hebrew word for ‘backward’ refers to ‘turning away.’ The Hebrew word for ‘forward’ is lepanim and refers to ‘the face of Elohim.’ Rather than seeking the face of the One, True, Living Elohim for what is coming on this world, they turn away and cling to their false gods and goddesses.

“Therefore, say to them, “This is the nation that has not listened to the voice of Adonai their God. They won’t take correction; faithfulness has perished; it has vanished from their mouths. Cut off your hair, and throw it away, take up a lament on the bare hills, for Adonai has rejected and abandoned the generation that rouses his anger'” Jeremiah 7:28-29).

Such a nation will not listen to the voice of Adonai. They won’t be corrected for their worship of Ishtar and Tammuz. They like what they are doing and have rationalized what they are doing is honest worship. In reality, they have become so lacking in true faith that their mouths no longer utter truths. For this nation, one should not pray, but only express deep sorrow for their impending death for they have been rejected and abandoned by Adonai.

“For the people of Y’hudah have done what is evil from my perspective,” says Adonai; “they have set up their detestable things in the house which bears my name, to defile it” (Jeremiah 7:30).

The weekly reading continues with Adonai saying those ‘houses’ that bear His name are defiled because of detestable things. Defiled with the Queen of Heaven, Ishtar. Defiled with mourning for Tammuz, Lent. Defiled by false gods and goddesses. This generation rouses His anger.

“For the time has come for the judgment to begin. It begins with the household of God; and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who are disobeying God’s Good News?” (1 Peter 4:17).

Peter says that judgment begins with the ‘house’ of God and this is why. The ‘houses’ of God throughout the world have embraced the false goddess Istar and false god Tammuz. As the fast of Lent comes to an end, they prepare for Easter with baking of cakes (hot cross buns), pouring out drink offerings and preparing their ‘wild boar’ roasts. The ‘houses of God’ have created a worship system that is not recognizable to Adonai and it rouses His anger.

Each individual in the ‘house of God’ has a choice in this ‘appointed season.’ They can choose to live according to the ways Adonai gave His people – Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits and be God’s people and things will go well or continue in the worship of false gods and goddesses that Adonai calls abominations and bring ruin on oneself.

Harsh? Not my words, but God’s. We are living in very serious times. We need to be very serious about the Word of God and follow His ways or suffer His anger.

“Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked” (John 3:19).

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

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