Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20050427.htm
JEREMIAH: STAYING UPRIGHT AMIDST EVIL PRESSURES
Part V: Prophecies Concerning Judah's Kings
D. Our Steep Responsibility To Resist Materialism And Heed Scripture
(Jeremiah 22:13-23; 36:1-32; 2 Kings 23:34-24:7; 2 Chronicles 36:5-8)
Lesson: For exalting THINGS above God, His Word and His people and THUS ABUSING OTHERS and GOD'S WORD to expand his palace, thinking it made him great, GOD judged Jehoiakim to have his body at death be treated as a WORTHLESS THING like he had treated others, God and His Word!
- Coveting possessions is a common form of idolatry especially in the Western World, cf. Colossians 3:5.
- Such materialism leads to a disrespect for God's Word and lovelessless toward God and others, facts that are illustrated and condemned by God in the life of Judah's king Jehoiakim. We view his life to recall our need to resist becoming materialistic and to love God, His Word and people above things (as follows):
- Our Steep Responsibility To Resist Materialism And Heed Scripture, Jer. 22:13-23; 36:1-32 et al.
- Jeremiah 22:13-23 comprises God's address to Judah's king Jehoiakim, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1156.
- In that address, God criticized Jehoiakim's dedication to abuse others for material gain, for Jehoiakim felt surrounding himself with items of beauty and power made him great, Jeremiah 22:13-17:
- The Lord complained about Jehoiakim's efforts to add to his palace with work done by fellow Hebrew brethren by labor that he did not reimburse, Jeremiah 22:13.
- The motive behind this abuse was Jehoiakim's thinking his reign would be great if he surrounded himself with spacious palace rooms, large windows and paneling of cedar and vermilion, Jer. 22:14.
- God critiqued this false materialistic view of his administration, charging Jehoiakim errantly felt he was a king by surrounding himself with cedar when his godly father, king Josiah, viewed treating his subjects fairly was important with the result that God blessed him with material things, Jeremiah 22:15.
- The Lord revealed true fellowship with God was marked by a king's caring for the needs of the weak and oppressed versus Jehoiakim's errant abuse of his subjects for dishonest gain, Jeremiah 22:16-17.
- This dedication to materialism also led Jehoiakim to reject the word of God through Jeremiah to the extent that he brazenly destroyed the copy of God's prophetic word as it was read to him, Jer. 36:1-32:
- During Jehoiakim's reign, God had His prophet, Jeremiah write out God's message to him and send Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe to read it to the king as Jeremiah had been banned from the palace, 36:1-6.
- God hoped Jehoiakim might repent at hearing His Word read to him just like his father, Josiah had repented at the reading of the law unto him a generation before, cf. 2 Kings 22:10-13.
- Yet, when the scroll was eventually read to Jehoiakim by one of his officials, instead of repenting as had his father, king Josiah before him, Jehoiakim cut off each page as it was read and threw it into his winter fire as though the page was good only to be burned and keep himself warm, Jeremiah 36:21-24.
- Thus, God condemned Jehoiakim to come to an ignoble end that fit his exaltation of things over God's ways, God's Word and God's people; his body would itself be treated as a worthless thing at his death:
- God through Jeremiah predicted Jehoiakim would not be lamented at his death like the nation had mourned for Josiah at his death, cf. Jeremiah 22:18 versus 2 Chronicles 35:24-25 and Jeremiah 22:10a.
- Rather, Jehoiakim's body would be dragged and cast outside the city like people would handle the body of a dead, worthless donkey, and as he had treated others (and God's Word!), Jeremiah 22:19.
- Events surrounding Jehoiakim's death have led scholars to suggest this all came to pass as follows:
- 2 Kings 24:1, 2-17 reveals Jehoiakim died as Babylon's king Nebuchadnezzar was marching toward Jerusalem to prepare to attack it for Jehoiakim's refusing to pay him any more dues.
- Some then think Jehoiakim was killed to appease Nebuchadnezzar and spare the city, his body being dragged out and exposed to win the Babylonian king's favor, Ibid., p. 1157.
- King Jehoiachin who replaced Jehoiakim "surrendered and was taken to Babylon; but the city was spared (2 Kings 24:1-17)." (Ibid.)
Application: (1) May we recall it is not THINGS but GOD we must worship. (2) We see in Jehoiakim's life that MATERIALISM bred LOVELESSNESS to others, to God and His Word, so if we value THINGS over PEOPLE or GOD and HIS WORD, we must repent of materialism!