Posts Tagged ‘Queen of Heaven’

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.

The Easter Women

When my children were young, I had a little book I read to them every Easter about the women going to the tomb and seeing the empty grave.  It wasn’t until I understood who the Easter women really are that I stopped reading the book.   I realized that combining the holy with the profane didn’t bring revelation of God’s plan of salvation through Yeshua to the world, but kept alive the worship of foreign gods and goddesses that couldn’t be in the lives of my children.

“So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines’  (1 Samuel 7:3).

Nimrod, from Genesis 10, had wife whose name was Semiramis.  She was an adulteress and an idolator.  When her husband died, she gave birth to an illegitimate son claiming that he was supernaturally conceived in order to hide her own immoral behavior.  She even claimed that he was ‘the promised seed’ so there would be no judgment against her behavior.  When the child was born,  she named him Tammuz and declared that he was Nimrod reborn. This  allowed her to have an immoral mother-son relationship.  Not only was Tammuz worshipped, but so was his mother, Ishtar,  from whom we derive the English word, Easter, and the Hebrew concept of Ashtoreth.

Tammuz became a shepherd and one day while herding his flocks, he was killed by a wild boar.  Ishtar, his mother turned lover, mourned for him.  She descended into the underworld, or Hades,  to deliver him from death.   She weeped for 40 days which eventually made the god of water and wisdom send a heavenly messenger to Hades to rescue her and her son.   All women in Babylon began this 40-day time of mourning on the second day of the fourth month. According to the prophet Ezekiel, this lamenting time was detestable to the LORD.  

“Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, mourning for Tammuz.  He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this” (Ezekiel 8:14)

After the 40 days, when Istar and Tammuz were set free from the underworld, there was a festival that was full of sexual immorality and dancing around Asherah poles on the ‘high places.’ The worship of Ashtoreth (Ishtar) and Asherah combined over time and became  known in ancient Israel as the Queen of Heaven.

“Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their heart and on the horns of their altars. Even their children remember their altars and Asherah poles beside the spreading trees and on the high hills” (Jeremiah 17:1-2).

Like Christmas, the catholic church embraced the pagan worship of Nimrod, the Queen of Heaven and Tammuz and tweaked it.    As preparation for Easter, there is a 40-day period called Lent.  The day before Lent begins, there is great feasting with immoral parties.  Remnants of these pagan traditions are embedded in Carnival of Brazil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.   When the first day of Lent arrives or Ash Wednesday, those same immoral  crowds, including Protestants and Evangelicals who have embraced catholic doctrines, flock to churches to receive ashes on their forehead, symbolic of mourning and sorrow for the dead.  For the next 40 days there is ‘soulful preparation’ through denial and fasting culminating in the great celebration called Easter or the memorial of Tammuz, the son of the Queen of Heaven, Ishtar,  being released from Hades.  

“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!” (Jeremiah 7:18).

How nicely the catholic church gave this pagan traditional a Biblical twist! Still, the God of Israel warned his people about the worship of Tammuz and honoring the Queen of Heaven with cakes or hot cross buns.  Dancing around a ‘May Pole’ also honors the the pagan goddess Asherah with a sexual symbol made from a tree.  Even the idea of coloring eggs has been embraced by the church.  Traditionally, during the season of Lent, all eggs were removed from the home for forty days when they were  colored red for a ‘blood sacrifice’ for Ashtoreth and Asherah.  The Easter ham is nothing more than a massive sacrifice of pigs as a way to atone for Tammuz’ death from a wild boar.

“Then all the men who knew that their wives were offering incense to other gods, along with all the women standing by, a huge crowd … answered Jeremiah: “As for the word you have just spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you.  Instead, we will certainly continue to fulfill every word our mouths have spoken: we will offer incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our ancestors, our kings and our leaders, in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food; everything was fine, we didn’t experience anything unpleasant.  But since we stopped offering to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything, and we have been destroyed by sword and famine” (Jeremiah 44:15-18).

Jeremiah’s warning is not heeded by the men or women of Israel. They didn’t care that they worshipped other gods contrary to what God commanded. Instead they remained rebellious in their stony hearts and fervently declared they weren’t going to change their wicked ways.  They believed that their prosperity came from the Queen of Heaven and not from the God of Israel so they continued in their abominations until judgment came.

“For everything written in the past was written to teach us, so that with the encouragement of the Tanakh we might patiently hold on to our hope” (Romans 15:4).

We are to learn from Israel’s mistakes and not imitate their abominations.  We are not to have hardness of heart when we hear God’s voice;  read His Word, learn from His Son.   As the nations join with Israel through faith in Yeshua, each of us must repent from these disgusting pagan practices and return to a pure worship of the God of Israel as outlined in His Word.   Cutsey little stories or poems  cannot justify unholy traditions that are abominable to the God of Israel.  We have been given the promise of eternal life through the  death and resurrection of the Messiah of Israel and not with the traditions surrounding a pagan god murdered by a wild pig that honors Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.