Jeremiah

Jeremiah Index

Jeremiah Chapter 22

 

  • Jeremiah 22:1 Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,
  • 2 And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:
  • 3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

God has certain instructions for leaders of countries and how they are to rule. Judah and Israel even had more responsibility for they were called out ones and chosen by God to bring salvation to the entire world through Jesus Christ. This is why God called Abraham out of the land of Ur of the Chaldeans to the land of Canaan which later became Israel. This was the area and the place in which He was to bring and did bring the Messiah that was to save the world from their sins.

Here is the instructions He gave to the king of Judah and this is still good traits for leaders to have today. If they do these things, things will go well in the country they rule:

  1. Execute judgment - Wrong doing, law breaking must we judged fairly or else we would have lawlessness and the stronger would oppress the weak. 
  2. Execute righteousness - Right living, godliness, fairness, honesty, truthfulness and other good things to cause men and women to live in peace. 
  3. Deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor. - Already lawlessness was prevailing because God saw that the oppressed needed to be set free from oppression. They were being exploited, used and God saw the unfairness and the cruelty in which they were treated by those who were stronger.
  4. Do no wrong .- They were given the law to show them the fair way to treat their citizens. We also have a conscience to discern right from wrong. 
  5. Do no violence. We see here that God hates violence especially against the stranger or innocent people. A stranger was a visitor to their country. As long as visitors obeyed the law and did not come for the purpose of breaking the law then they were to be treated kindly. What a wonderful opportunity to show kindness and tell of God and who He was. Most strangers in those days would have been those who did not know the real God.
  6. They were not to oppress the orphans or widows. Orphans have no father or mother to make sure they are treated kindly and cared for. If the government sees them neglected, they are to care for them. Widows back then would have no husband to make a living for them. It was a great sin for someone to take advantage of the fact that they have no protector and mistreat them. A good ruler would try to make sure they were cared for properly. 
  7. They were not to shed innocent blood. God allowed capital punishment for certain crimes. It had to be crimes that they were sure by the mouth of two or three eye witnesses that saw what the accused had done before they could be put to death. They were not to put to death those that just disagree with the leadership, disagree with certain religious beliefs or other minor offenses. If they owned property and the leader coveted their goods, that was not a reason to get someone killed but that happened. Innocent children were not to be sacrificed to false gods and idols. Child sacrifices also went on even among Israel at one time.

I don't know if abortion was practiced in those days but that is murdering the innocent if nothing else is. How much more innocent can one be than a baby that has not yet been born and has not done good or evil.

  • Jeremiah 22:4 For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.

Good rewards awaited them if they observed these little laws when they ruled their kingdoms. Governments and kingdoms that have fair and honest leadership last much longer than evil countries. Does Hitler's government still exist? How about Communist Soviet Union? Evil governments will be cut down sooner or later. They will come to nothing. We need to always pray for good leaders to rule.

  • Jeremiah 22:5 But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.

That is what happened and will happen to future kingdoms who ignore God and do evil. God sees every time a slave is beaten unfairly. God sees every aborted baby. God sees every time a stronger person steals from or oppresses a weak person. God sees cheating, lying, stealing, deceit, fraud and it will not go unpunished.

The wonderful part about God is that if we did do these things, we can escape the judgment and change. Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can have a new beginning and these old sins can be done away with. He gives you a new heart and new way of life. You actually become born again by the Holy Spirit. The first time you are born you came as a babe and were born in the flesh. Through faith in Jesus Christ you can become born again by the Spirit. You can have living water flowing within your inner most being. You will begin to be kind to people and would not desire to take from them or hurt them.

  • Jeremiah 22:6 For thus saith the LORD unto the king's house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.
  • 7 And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.
  • 8 And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city?

I'm sure that this use to happen before Israel became a nation again in 1948. Many probably thought Israel was gone forever and ceased to exist. Bible prophecy has to be fulfilled yet and Israel becoming a nation again is a vital part of that prophecy.

  • Jeremiah 22:9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

We are again reminded of why Israel lost their homeland for hundreds of years.

  1. They forsook the covenant of the Lord. This covenant given to them through Moses after their deliverance from Egypt. 
  2. They worshipped other gods and served them. This is why those things happened to them. God warned back in the days of Moses exactly what would happen. God sent judges, prophets and teachers to warn and warn before this day finally arrived. Read Deuteronomy 29 and 30 for the blessings or cursing that were to come.  It depended on whether they chose to live right or disobey God.

Here is part of Deuteronomy 30:

  • Deuteronomy 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 
  • 2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 
  • 3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

God makes laws for good, not evil. Love is in both the law given through Moses and the grace given through Jesus Christ. We can see God's care and love for His creation all through the written word.

  • Jeremiah 22:10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.

Those that had gone into captivity did not see their homeland again before they died.

  • Jeremiah 22:11 For thus saith the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:
  • 12 But he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.
  • 13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;

Here we see God does not approve of slavery. We are not to use people's labor without paying them a fair wage. A neighbor may be helping out and refuse wages but we are not to deceive them into thinking they are going to be paid and then not pay them.

  • Jeremiah 22:14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.
  • 15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?
  • 16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: wanot this to know me? saith the LORD.
  • 17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.
  • 18 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!
  • 19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

This is what becomes of any wicked king or leader. No one cares where they are buried or how they are treated after death. The name Hitler today turns many stomachs and no one really cares where his body is or what happened to him. No one really cares that he died. In fact many rejoiced to see that day for he was an evil man. A good leader however, is mourned and is given a great funeral procession with honor and respect. Compare the United States grief over Roosevelt's passing, Kennedy's death, and how people reacted. I'm sure very few mourned Hitler.

  • Jeremiah 22:20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.
  • 21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.

So sad that when a nation or group of people are prosperous and living good they forget their maker and creator.

  • Jeremiah 22:22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
  • 23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
  • 24 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;
  • 25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
  • 26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.
  • 27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.
  • 28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
  • 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.
  • 30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

This is indeed a sad ending which could have been avoided. All they had to have done was simply repent and return to God. God saves but He saves only those who want to be saved. If we refuse and reject God, He cannot do us any good. We might continue for a while in peace but the end will come and it will all be for nothing. To choose God is to choose life. To choose God's ways is to choose everlasting life.

Jesus Christ will return and set up a righteous kingdom. There will be no more evil and sin. Sin will be removed permanently one day. We can choose now to be part of that kingdom or remain in the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of darkness will be destroyed in the end. It is our choice. We do not have to be destroyed with it. Jesus came that we might have everlasting life. Jesus came to free us from sin. Come to Christ today and let His Spirit come into your life.

Study of Jeremiah 23

 

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