Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20050420.htm
JEREMIAH: STAYING UPRIGHT AMIDST EVIL PRESSURES
Part V: Prophecies Concerning Judah's Kings
C. Our Steep Responsibility To Heed God's Truth Given To Us Via Strong Precedents
(Jeremiah 22:10-12 with 2 Kings 23:31-33 and 2 Chronicles 35:20-36:4)
Lesson: For failing to heed the TRUTH that was CLEARLY evident in the PAST PRECEDENTS of (1) his HERITAGE from BOTH SIDES of his lineage and (2) the EXAMPLE of the ONE BIG SINFUL, TRAGIC FAILURE of his FATHER, God quickly, irreversibly sent Jehoahaz into captivity .
- Jesus taught in Luke 12:42-48 that those to whom more insight on the truth is given are more accountable to God to heed it with stiffer penalties for disobedience than those who receive just a little of the truth.
- This fact is illustrated in God's dealings with Judah's King Jehoahaz (Shallum), and viewing his short reign as described in Jeremiah 22:10-12 gives us great motivation to heed what we know of God's truths:
- Our Steep Accountability To Heed God's Truth Given To Us Via Strong Precedents.
- When Jeremiah wrote Jeremiah 22:10-12, the people of Judah were mourning for king Josiah; his upright reign had ended in his being slain when he attacked Pharaoh-Necho, for he failed to check with Jeremiah to learn that God was helping Pharaoh-Necho, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, ftn. to Jer. 22:10; 2 Chr. 35:20-24.
- While Judah still mourned the relatively upright king Josiah's death, his son, Jehoahaz (Shallum) had been taken captive by Pharaoh-Necho after reigning only three short months in Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 36:1-4.
- We know from 2 Kings 23:31-33 that Jehoahaz (Shallum) walked in the evil ways of the kings before Josiah, a direction that was met with God's removal of blessing and Jehoahaz's sudden captivity.
- God thus dealt severely with Jehoahaz (Shallum), cutting him off from his reign in Jerusalem after only three months, and instructing Jeremiah to tell Judah not to weep for the late Josiah, but to weep for his son who would never be released from captivity, Jeremiah 22:10-12.
- The REASON for God's such quick and irreversible judgment on Jehoahaz (Shallum) is evident when we view the great precedents Jehoahaz had received that made him highly accountable to obey God:
- First, Jehoahaz (Shallum) had an upright heritage on both sides of his line that he should have heeded:
- Jehoahaz's father, Josiah had come up out of idolatry to gain God's blessing by obeying the Lord: (a) Though having come from a godless grandfather, Amon and the bad-and-good great -grandfather, Manasseh (2 Chr. 33:21-25; 33:1-20), Jehoahaz's father, Josiah, had begun to seek God early in his reign, 2 Chr. 34:1-3. (b) Josiah's people had found a copy of God's Law and, for the first time ever, had read it to him; he had realized from this reading that Judah was ripe for judgment for idolatry, and so had sought to obey the Law fully, 2 Chr. 34:8, 14, 18-21. (c) He had made a covenant with God, and purged the land of idols (2 Chr. 34:29-33) followed by hosting the greatest Passover in Judah's history, 35:1, 18-19. (d) Thus, God had blessed Josiah by postponing Judah's coming Babylonian Captivity judgment until after his death, 2 Chr. 34:26-28.
- Then, Jehoahaz's mother had come from a godly heritage as his maternal grandfather was named "Jeremiah," or "Jahweh (Judah's God) establishes," cf. 2 Kings 23:31b; Z. P. E. B. , v. Three, p. 434.
- Second, the captivity of Jehoahaz (Shallum) by the same Egyptian monarch who had slain his father, Josiah for Josiah's failing to heed God at the end of his reign also worked to critique Jehoahaz:
- When Pharaoh-Necho had first tried to travel through Judah to fight another nation at Carchemish, Jehoahaz's father, Josiah had gone out against this Gentile king to attack him, 2 Chronicles 35:20.
- At the time, Pharaoh-Necho warned Josiah not to fight, claiming God was aiding him, 2 Chr. 35:21.
- Without checking God's prophet to see if Pharaoh-Necho's claim was valid, Josiah had attacked him and ended up losing his life since God indeed was assisting Pharaoh-Necho, 2 Chronicles 35:22-24.
- When God arranged for that same Pharaoh-Necho who had slain his father, Josiah, to take Jehoahaz (Shallum) captive, it signaled the failure of Jehoahaz to learn from the sin of his father who had lost his life by failing fully to follow God in his fighting against Pharaoh-Necho , 2 Kings 23:31-33.
Application: If God's truth has come to us by way of the STRONG PRECEDENTS of (1) an extensive Biblical heritage OR by way of (2) CLEAR ILLUSTRATIONS through what has occured to OTHERS, GOD holds us HIGHLY ACCOUNTABLE to HEED Him, so we must HEED Him to the FULL!