Heavenly Father, help me to seek your kingdom and righteousness today. Help me to represent your kingdom in ways that draw others to you.
Read JEREMIAH 22
Judgment Against Wicked Kings
22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim this message there: 2 ‘Hear the word of the Lord to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. 3 This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these commands, declares the Lord, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.’”
6 For this is what the Lord says about the palace of the king of Judah:
“Though you are like Gilead to me,
like the summit of Lebanon,
I will surely make you like a wasteland,
like towns not inhabited.
7 I will send destroyers against you,
each man with his weapons,
and they will cut up your fine cedar beams
and throw them into the fire.
8 “People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?’ 9 And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.’”
10 Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss;
rather, weep bitterly for him who is exiled,
because he will never return
nor see his native land again.
11 For this is what the Lord says about Shallum[a] son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: “He will never return. 12 He will die in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again.”
13 “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness,
his upper rooms by injustice,
making his own people work for nothing,
not paying them for their labor.
14 He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace
with spacious upper rooms.’
So he makes large windows in it,
panels it with cedar
and decorates it in red.
15 “Does it make you a king
to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
He did what was right and just,
so all went well with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
declares the Lord.
17 “But your eyes and your heart
are set only on dishonest gain,
on shedding innocent blood
and on oppression and extortion.”
18 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
“They will not mourn for him:
‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’
They will not mourn for him:
‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
19 He will have the burial of a donkey—
dragged away and thrown
outside the gates of Jerusalem.”
20 “Go up to Lebanon and cry out,
let your voice be heard in Bashan,
cry out from Abarim,
for all your allies are crushed.
21 I warned you when you felt secure,
but you said, ‘I will not listen!’
This has been your way from your youth;
you have not obeyed me.
22 The wind will drive all your shepherds away,
and your allies will go into exile.
Then you will be ashamed and disgraced
because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in ‘Lebanon,[b]’
who are nestled in cedar buildings,
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
pain like that of a woman in labor!
24 “As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “even if you, Jehoiachin[c] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will deliver you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians.[d] 26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die. 27 You will never come back to the land you long to return to.”
28 Is this man Jehoiachin a despised, broken pot,
an object no one wants?
Why will he and his children be hurled out,
cast into a land they do not know?
29 O land, land, land,
hear the word of the Lord!
30 This is what the Lord says:
“Record this man as if childless,
a man who will not prosper in his lifetime,
for none of his offspring will prosper,
none will sit on the throne of David
or rule anymore in Judah.”
- Jeremiah 22:11 Also called Jehoahaz
- Jeremiah 22:23 That is, the palace in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 7:2)
- Jeremiah 22:24 Hebrew Koniah, a variant of Jehoiachin; also in verse 28
- Jeremiah 22:25 Or Chaldeans
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ask God to teach us to do what is right and to see that justice is done in our sphere of influence.
Two of God’s covenants with Israel feature in this chapter. The Sinai covenant with its obligations on kings to do what is just and right1 and the Davidic covenant promising that a descendant of his would always rule over Judah.2 The Sinai covenant is implied in verse 3 and in verses 15 and 16 in the call to do what is just and right. It is explicit, too, in verse 9. The Davidic covenant is implied in verse 30. Judah’s wicked kings thought the Davidic covenant had superseded the Sinai covenant, but the Ten Commandments, Judah’s national constitution, encased in the ark of the covenant in the temple alongside the king’s palace, made it clear that it had not.
Josiah was a righteous king, but his three descendants, Shallum (aka Jehoahaz), Jehoiakim, and Jehoiachin (aka Coniah) were not. Jehoiakim was probably king when God sent Jeremiah to go to the palace and announce God’s judgment on it (v 1). Jeremiah called on the king to do what was right (v 3), announcing that if he did not, the palace would become a ruin. Verses 6 and 7 describe the destruction and verse 9 says why – ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God.’
The rest of the chapter announces judgment on these three wicked kings, climaxing with the solemn warning, ‘none of his [Jehoiachin’s] offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule any more in Judah’ (v 30). Because of Jehoiachin’s failure to obey the Sinai covenant, the Davidic covenant was also at an end. The followers of Jesus also have great and precious promises like the Davidic kings did, but these promises bring great responsibility. We are called to imitate Jesus in the way we live and to reflect his character.
Jesus is now seated at God’s right hand, ruling the universe with God’s power and authority. Worship Jesus your King today.
Gracious God, thank you for the freedom I enjoy. Help me to be sensitive and responsive to the needs for grace and mercy that surround me. Help me to use my freedom to bring you glory.
Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by kingstar