Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing

Part XLV: God's Righteous Branch To Replace Judah's Sinful Rulers

(Jeremiah 23:1-8)


I.                 Introduction

A.    Following God's pronounced judgment of Josiah's wicked descendants Shallum, Jehoiakim and Coniah, He countered with a positive prophecy about the Righteous Branch of David who would rule Judah in blessing.

B.     We view that edifying prophecy about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus in Jeremiah 23:1-8 for our edification:

II.              God's Righteous Branch To Replace Judah's Sinful Rulers, Jeremiah 23:1-8.

A.    The Lord promised to judge Judah's kings for failing to shepherd the people under their care, Jer. 23:1-2:

1.      He pronounced a "woe" against Judah's kings who acted as evil shepherds who instead of helping the flock were destroying and scattering God's people of Judah, Jeremiah 23:1; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1158.

2.      Specifically, these rulers had not led the people to obey God's Law, so the people had sinned to where the Lord had to send them into national captivity, scattering them from their pasture land of Judah, Jer. 23:2a.

3.      God would thus bring calamitous judgment on these kings for such failure as Judah's shepherds, Jer. 23:2b.

B.     To fill the vacuum of good leadership left by such evil shepherds, God Himself would gather Judah's remnant from all the nations from which He had driven them in judgment, bringing them back into their pasture land of Judah and causing them to be productive and to increase there in blessing, Jeremiah 23:3.

C.     At that time, the coming Messianic Kingdom, God will set up godly shepherds over His people who would care for His people, resulting in their no longer being afraid, dismayed or going missing, Jeremiah 23:4 ESV.

D.    Opposite Jeconiah who had been "cut off," no longer having a descendant to sit on David's throne and to prosper (Jeremiah 22:28-30; Ibid.), God would raise up another Davidic King as a "Righteous Branch" from the cut off, figurative stump of the Davidic kings, "another member of the Davidic line," Jer. 23:5a; Ibid.  He would reign and prosper, executing justice and righteousness in the land, Jer. 23:5b ESV.  [The fulfillment of this promise comes via Mary, the Mother of Jesus, being of the line of David by David's uncursed son Nathan, and of her marriage to Joseph who was of Jeconiah's cursed line that would give Jesus the legal right to the throne, but in bypassing Jeconiah's curse by way of the virgin birth, Ibid.; Matthew 1:2-17; Luke 3:24-38]

E.     In the days of this Messiah King, He would rule and save Judah, the Southern Kingdom, while Israel in the Northern Kingdom would dwell safely from foreign invasion, for the Northern and Southern kingdoms would again be united as they were was under king David, Jeremiah 23:6a.  This King would be called "The Lord Our Righteousness," Yahweh Sidqenu, a play on words opposite Judah's last and unrighteous king Zedekiah whose name in Hebrew was Sidqiyahu, meaning, "my righteousness is Yahweh," Jeremiah 23:6b; Ibid.  Unlike Zedekiah, named, "my righteousness is Yahweh," but who failed to live up to his name, the righteous Messiah and God Incarnate would live up to His name as "The Lord Our Righteousness"! (Ibid.)

F.      So great would be God's coming deliverance of His people from their having been scattered among the nations that no longer would the people say, "The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt," but "The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel from all the countries wither I had driven them," predicted the Lord, Jeremiah 23:7-8a KJV.  At that time, God's people would dwell in their own land, no longer as strangers in foreign nations, Jeremiah 23:8b.


Lesson: Opposite the failure of Judah's wicked kings spiritually to shepherd God's people to obey the Lord and thus avoid being attacked by invading Gentiles and scattered from their land into captivity, God would raise up the Messiah, the "Righteous Branch" and "The Lord Our Righteousness" to unite, protect, shepherd and bless His people, and to set up godly believers as shepherds under the rule of the Lord Jesus in His coming Messianic Kingdom.  This deliverance would be so great it would supplant in  fame God's deliverance of Israel out of Egypt.


Application: (1) May we set our hope on our coming Messiah and King, Christ, as the Solution to the problems all of God's people have faced over the centuries regarding errant leaders.  (2) Though we are not yet in the Messianic Kingdom, since God will raise up godly men under Christ to shepherd His people, may we who are in oversight walk with God today that He might use us to shepherd His people in righteousness, justice, peace and blessing.  This type of leading, seen in 1 Peter 5:1-4 ESV, involves (a) leading willingly, not because we must, (b) not for shameful or dishonest gain, but eagerly, (c) not by domineering God's people but by way of a godly example.  For such leadership, Christ Himself, our Chief Shepherd, will offer the reward of a crown of glory that fades not away.