Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
Judah had chosen their gods, and now God would prove them. Judah had sought out the gods of their own making, and now God would test their strength. Judah had given their hearts to these false idols and chased after the gods of the nations around them, and now God would show them exactly what kinds of gods they were worshiping and exactly what they were made of. The people had turned their backs on the true and living God, and now He would show them what their dead idols could do for them.
God was the one who had heard their cries before, who had pity on them as they dwelt in bondage. God was the one who had delivered them from all of their enemies and had allowed them to triumph over the great kings of the Earth. God was the one who had showed Himself powerful, faithful, and gracious to them, but the people rejected Him. The people cast Him away from them. The people took things into their own hands and made poor choices. And now those choices and that rejection would come back to haunt them.
God was patient with His people for a long time, and He is patient with us. But there will come a time when our continual disobedience will evoke a response from God. There will come a time when what we are depending on will be tested and found severely lacking. There will come a day when God will give us over to what we are worshiping instead of Him and allow us to see that it cannot do a thing to help us. When we blind ourselves with the gods of this world, sometimes God has to force open our eyes, and it’s going to hurt us, but sometimes that is the only way we can truly see what we have done.
How long will we continue to cling to powerless gods and bow down before hollow images? Will we come before God and admit that we were wrong, admit that we had forsaken Him before it’s too late? When God is determined to bring His judgment, we will not be able to escape it. It came upon Judah as they ignorantly continued rebelling against God. But there is still time in this age of grace to turn back to God, to forsake those other gods and humble ourselves before Almighty God and spare ourselves His wrath upon us.