THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing
Part XLIII: Sensing Our Vulnerability to God As Overseers That We Humbly Obey Him
A. If we do not sense our vulnerability and accountability to the Lord, we open the door to disobeying Him.
B. This was the problem of Judah's kings, and Jeremiah 21:11-22:9 addresses it for our insight and edification:
II. Sensing Our Vulnerability To God As Overseers That We Humbly Obey Him, Jeremiah 21:11-22:9.
A. In Jeremiah 21:11-14, God directed Jeremiah to warn the house of the king of Judah that because of its lack of a sense of vulnerability and accountability to the Lord, God was going to judge it severely:
1. God directed Jeremiah tell the house of David to execute justice "in the morning," a figurative reference to "early," quickly rescuing those who were robbed from oppressors lest God's wrath go forth and burn with unquenchable fire because of their evil deeds in failing to administer such justice, Jeremiah 21:11-12.
2. However, God was against the house of David, men who considered themselves invulnerable to foreign attackers as if they lived above a vulnerable valley on a rocky plateau, Jer. 21:13. Feeling invulnerable to such attack, Judah's rulers also failed to sense their accountability to obey the Lord in administering justice for oppressed subjects, so God planned to punish the house of David for its deeds, kindling a fire in their "forests" that would consume everything around them, Jeremiah 21:14. The royal palace was figuratively called the "Palace of the Forest of Lebanon" for its many rich cedar beams and panels acquired from the land of Lebanon (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1156), but after God's judgment, it would be desolate.
B. Nevertheless, in a gracious effort, the Lord in Jeremiah 22:1-9 then tried to reach out to the house of Judah's king, beseeching it to repent that He might deliver it from such judgment and bless it:
1. God told Jeremiah to go to the palace of Judah's king to address the house of David and its officials, to tell them to practice "justice" (mishpat) and "righteousness" (sedaqah), Jeremiah 22:1-3a ESV; Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 743. These are the two nouns that describe Christ's administration in the coming Messianic Kingdom in Isaiah 9:7 (Ibid., p. 621) that were also voiced by the Queen of Sheba who told Solomon how God had raised him up to administer such mishpat and sedaqah, Ibid., p. 526; 1 Kings 10:9 ESV.
2. Such "justice" and "righteousness" was to be administered in behalf of vulnerable subjects like those who had been robbed by powerful oppressors and like the alien, the fatherless and the widow, that they also not shed innocent blood in Jerusalem, Jeremiah 22:3b,c.
3. God promised that if the house of David was careful to carry out these commands, kings who sat on David's throne would come through the gates of that palace riding on chariots and on horses accompanied by their officials and their subjects in honor and blessing, Jeremiah 22:4.
4. However, were they not to obey these commands, God made an oath by Himself that He would surely cause that palace to become a ruin, Jeremiah 22:5.
5. Concerning that beautiful royal palace, God said that though it was like the beautiful wooded area of Gilead to Him, like the summit of beautiful Lebanon with its forests of rich, great cedars, God would surely make it like a desert and like uninhabited towns in judgment, Jeremiah 22:6; Ibid., B. K. C., O. T.
6. The Lord would send Gentile destroyers against that palace, each with his weapons in hand to cut up the prized, fine cedar beams of that palace and throw them into the fire, Jeremiah 22:7.
7. Consequently, people of many nations would pass by the ruins of the city and palace and ask, "Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?" to which they would answer, "Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshipped and served other gods," Jeremiah 22:8-9 NIV.
Lesson: God wanted the house of David, the royal power of Judah, to sense its vulnerability and accountability to the Lord for administering "justice" and "judgment" in behalf of vulnerable subjects afflicted by powerful robbers and in behalf of vulnerable aliens, the fatherless and widows, in addition to avoiding idolatry. The Lord promised to provide great honor and security in their oversight were these rulers to heed God, but their smug self-sufficiency kept them from sensing such accountability, what would result in their judgment with even their prized, beloved "Palace of the Forest of Lebanon" being burned down to rubble in dishonor!
Application: If God assigns us to oversight, may we realize our accountability to Him to use that position to protect vulnerable subordinates and avoid false idols for God's blessing and honor or suffer a loss of blessing and honor.