JEREMIAH CHAPTER 22: GODLY LIVING, WHAT IT IS.


Are we godly living? What shows?

This message, I suppose, is given before the message found in chapter 21 since it includes so much of warnings whereas chapter 21 is almost fulfillment of the ‘threats’ of this chapter. The chapter precisely has warnings of the three kings of Judah and who are directly sons of King Josiah except Jehoiachin who was the son of Kong Jehoiakim. We open the chapter with God instructing the prophet to visit the palace and speak the word from there (The reign by then was of King Jehoiakim) and the word is just a warning of what was going to happen to these kings and the remedy for it, ie initiating justice and living a godly life( Verses 1-4). And calamity would be inevitable following the failure to observe the way of escape (V.5). The Lord adds that even though things were well then and the palace was shinning, their doom would be inescapable unless change of conduct was initiated (V.6-9).


Verses 10-12 is a special message to king Jehoahaz, Verses 13-23 have the special message to King Jehoiakim, and verses 24-30 contain the special message addressed to King Jehoiachin. But what is stressing here is that none of these kings sided with God’s plan of escape. Instead, they went ahead with their evil works as described in this chapter (ie building mansions at the expense of poor and unprivileged, worshipped other gods or other items were more valuable to them than their God as we saw in exposition of what it means to worship other gods, and all other iniquities as portrayed by this book).

 And ultimately the Lord’s day of punishment happened (King Jehoahaz was taken captive by King Neco and died in Egypt 2 Kings 23:33-34, King Jehoiakim was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and though he tried to regain his freedom, more uprisings from many states ruined him and destroyed him and Judah 2 Kings 24:1-2, King Jehoiachin and his family was taken captive into Babylon and he died from there before having a child and so the kingship in the line of Solomon died with this king 2 Kings 24:15-16). And as the word of the Lord says in Isaiah 55:10-11, His word can never go back without accomplishing what it says and so things happened to Judah and city Jerusalem as the Lord said they would (2 Kings 24:2b).

OUR FOCUS IS verses 15-17, “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?He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD. 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. 

This message is a special address to kings but to all of us too. The only way to claim that we love God is when we rescue the oppressed in all terms and get satisfied with getting what to eat and drink or even more but acquired in right and fair means. But from the political leaders to our church system, we have gone from this word. Pastors are more interested in getting rich preaching and at least they would repeat the lesson of giving a tenth of our earnings than the sermon on mount of Olives. Yeah, our political leaders have slain lives of innocent people so they stay in power, they have stolen government funds intended for the poor, and have built mansions at the expense of the weak just exactly what king Jehoiakim did and they won’t escape the consequences. And eh what about us the subjects, are we upright? Oh no, we have carried out the same offences at our level and the wrath of God is upon us too.
 
But should we just watch and wait for the punishment day like we didn’t have options? Should our governance system wait to change till we see what happened in Burkina Faso? Should we wait for our assassination and capture by other states before we bow down and repent? And remember God’s word will always come to pass. When you read this message, you may be tempted to think it is for the king and the regime but it is for us all in our ‘small’ areas of operations. Let’s change as God suggested for us and we see new days of happiness and salvation. 

And the only way is in the confession to our Lord Jesus and acceptance of His rule in our lives.

GOD BLESS YOU.


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