Keep Your Behavior in Line

                            Keep Your Behavior in Line

              Jer. 22:1–25:38 Jer. 22:13-21           July 17 2011

      

Upon occasion of the message sent in the foregoing chapter to the house of the king, we have here recorded some sermons which Jeremiah preached at court, in some preceding reigns, that it might appear they had had fair warning long before that fatal sentence was pronounced upon them, and were put in a way to prevent it. Here is, A message sent to the royal family, as it should seem in the reign of Jehoiakim, relating partly to Jehoahaz, who was carried away captive into Egypt, and partly to Jehoiakim, who succeeded him and was now upon the throne. The king and princes are exhorted to execute judgment, and are assured that, if they did so, the royal family should flourish, but otherwise it should be ruined . Jehoahaz, called here Shallum, is lamented . Jehoiakim is reproved and threatened . Another message sent them in the reign of Jehoiachin (alias, Jeconiah) the son of Jehoiakim. He is charged with an obstinate refusal to hear, and is threatened with destruction, and it is foretold that in him Solomon’s house should fail .

 

          Jer. 22:13 Woe to him who is building his house by unrighteousness,         And his upper chambers by injustice, On his neighbour he layeth service for nought,  And his wage he doth not give to him. 14 Who is saying, ‘I build for myself a large house, And airy upper chambers, And he hath cut out for himself its windows, Ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.15 Dost thou reign, because thou art fretting thyself in  cedar? Thy father—did he not eat and drink? Yea, he did judgment and righteousness, Then it is well with him.

 

Another message on the theme of royal culpability shows how Jeremiah exhorted the kings to establish justice or expect desolation . He predicts that Shallum (Jehoahaz), taken captive to Babylon after a three-month rule, will never return . But his most scathing denunciation is reserved for Jehoiakim. That luxury-loving heretic son of godly King Josiah is destined to die a shameful death and be given a donkey’s burial with no mourning at his passing .

 

          Jer. 22:16 He decided the cause of the poor and needy, Then it

is well—is it not to know Me? An affirmation of Jehovah. 17 But thine eyes and thy heart are not, Except on thy dishonest gain, And on shedding of innocent blood And on oppression, and on doing of violence.18 Therefore, thus said Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: They do not lament for him,Ah, my brother, and Ah, sister, They do not lament for him Ah, lord, and Ah, his honour.19 The burial of an ass—he is buried, Dragged and cast out thence to the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry And in Bashan give forth thy voice,And cry from Abarim, For destroyed have been all loving thee. 21 I have spoken unto thee in thine ease. Thou hast said, ‘I do not hearken,’ This is thy way from

thy youth For thou hast not hearkened to My voice.

 

 

Knowing God . The Lord compares godly Josiah to his wicked son Jehoiakim. Josiah did “what was right and just” and protected the poor. “Is that not what it means to know Me?” says the Lord. When the O.T. speaks of “knowing” God it uses yada’, which involves gaining knowledge of, developing an understanding of, and responding appropriately to, the Lord.

How does a king show that he “knows” God? Jeremiah says that it is by the way in which he administers justice, fulfilling his responsibility as God’s under shepherd.

We can never tell what goes on within another human being. But we can see what comes out of his or her life. Product is a better indicator of relationship with God than profession.While these verses give a criteria for measuring a king’s knowledge of God, Micah 6:8 provides similar criteria by which to measure ordinary people—and ourselves.

 

Summary

 

These chapters move us forward in time and relate the ministry of Jeremiah to the last few kings of Judah. First, Jeremiah relates an event that happened when the Babylonians were advancing against Jerusalem in 588 B.C. King Zedekiah sends to ask Jeremiah if there is any hope for God’s intervention . Jeremiah announces that God intends to fight for the enemy and that Judah is doomed . The prophet then urges the people to flee Jerusalem . On the same theme, Jeremiah inserts a message from an earlier time, addressed to the royal house, urging reform of the justice system and predicting judgment .

Another message on the theme of royal culpability shows how Jeremiah exhorted the kings to establish justice or expect desolation . He predicts that Shallum (Jehoahaz), taken captive to Babylon after a three-month rule, will never return . But his most scathing denunciation is reserved for Jehoiakim. That luxury-loving heretic son of godly King Josiah is destined to die a shameful death and be given a donkey’s burial with no mourning at his passing .