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The Consequences of Worshiping Other Gods

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We face somewhat similar times in our own day. Since I know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever I can be sure that judgment is coming. Lord, help me to be sounding the warning. … More

Responsibility

The events, to which this chapter refers, occurred before chapter 21. In this chapter God says to Jeremiah, “I want you to go up and talk to the king himself, face to face.” This is the first time Jeremiah is sent to deliver a message to the face of the king himself (vv. 1, 2). So he accepts the responsibility to go the palace, and come before the king. Certain consequences were attached to what he had to say. His message to the king and the people that were there was for them to do what is just and right. If the king would be careful to observe God’s commandments he could expect continued blessing. However, if he chose to disobey these commands, God vowed that the royal palace would become a ruin (vv. 3-5).

Both Gilead and Lebanon were known for their forests (v. 6) and the palace in Jerusalem was known as the “Palace of the forests of Lebanon."  However, after God’s judgment the palace would be as desolate as a desert. The Babylonians would cut up the fine cedar beams of the palace and cast them into the fire (v. 7). As the people of other nations see this beautiful palace being destroyed they will ask; why has God permitted such a thing (v. 8). The answer is simply that God has judged this city because the people has forsaken the covenant and had worshiped other Gods (v. 9).

The message to Shallum was another name for Jehoahaz who had succeeded his father Josiah to the throne when he was killed at Megiddo (vv. 10-12). After a reign of three months he was deposed by Pharoah Neco to Egypt. Jeremiah predicted that he would never return to Jerusalem but that he would die in the place where he was deported. Jehoahaz was the first leader of Judah to die in exile.

Application

We face somewhat similar times in our own day. Since I know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever I can be sure that judgment is coming. Lord, help me to be sounding the warning.

Jeremiah 22:1-12 (English Standard Version)

Thus says the LORD: "Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, and say, 'Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: "'You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, yet surely I will make you a desert, an uninhabited city. I will prepare destroyers against you, each with his weapons, and they shall cut down your choicest cedars and cast them into the fire. "'And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, "Why has the LORD dealt thus with this great city?" And they will answer, "Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and worshiped other gods and served them."'" Weep not for him who is dead, nor grieve for him, but weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more to see his native land. For thus says the LORD concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and who went away from this place: "He shall return here no more, but in the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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