Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20050504.htm
JEREMIAH: STAYING UPRIGHT AMIDST EVIL PRESSURES
Part V: Prophecies Concerning Judah's Kings
E. Our Steep Individual Responsibilities To Heed The Lord
(Jeremiah 22:24-30; 36:1-25 and 2 Kings 24:8-16)
Lesson: (1) For failing to heed God, Nehushta and Jeconiah were judged with lifelong bondage in Babylon and the loss of their line's right to rule. (2) Yet, for the godly life of their ancestor, Elnathan, and for the later Joseph's personal godliness, God honored this line IN that judgment on Jeconiah.
- We at times sing "Faith of our Fathers", bolstering our confidence in God's blessings via our heritage.
- However, as we must INDIVIDUALLY be held accountable before the Lord for how we live, each of us is responsible to heed Scripture if we would be personally blessed of God, regardless what happened or happens to our ancestors or descendants, a truth the life and lineage of Jeconiah reveals (as follows):
- Our Steep Individual Responsibilities To Heed The Lord, Jer. 22:24-30; 36:1-25 and 2 Kings 24:8-16.
- When evil king Jehoiakim of Judah systematically burned the scroll that was being read to him from God's prophet, Jeremiah, a God-fearing court official, Elnathan (whose name means "God has given", cf. Z.P.E.B., vol. 2, p. 294) tried in vain to restrain Jehoiakim from doing this evil deed, Jer. 36:1-8, 21-25.
- Though Elnathan was godly, his daughter and grandson failed to heed God, and paid for it in judgment:
- After Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, the son of Nehushta, daughter of "Elnathan of Jerusalem," ruled, 2 K. 24:6ff
- Though it is possible that the "Elnathan of Jerusalem" in 2 Kings 24:6, 8 might not be the Elnathan who tried to keep Jehoiakim from burning Jeremiah's scroll, as "Elnathan" means "God has given," the "Elnathan of Jerusalem" who sired Nehushta and through her Jeconiah came from God-fearing parents!
- Yet, since Nehushta and Jeconiah failed to heed God as had their ancestors, they were judged by God:
- When Jeconiah (Coniah) came to the throne at the young age of 18, he ruled wickedly, 2 K. 24:8-9.
- Thus, God condemned him to be taken captive by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Jer. 22:24-25.
- In fact, God predicted he would be taken captive with his mother and both would die in Babylon, Jer. 22:26-27 [ tamutu ("ye shall die") in Jer. 22:26 KJV is plural, meaning God condemned both mother and son to this judgment, Biblia Hebraica, p. 745). Nehushta had influenced her relatively young, 18 year old son, Jeconiah, and God also held the young Jeconiah guilty of sin for his own actions, so God gave both mother and son the same judgment -- death in captivity in Babylon!
- Indeed, for their failure to heed the godly heritage they had been given by Jeconiah's grandfather and Nehushta's father, "Elnathan of Jerusalem," Jeconiah's line would bear a divine curse: no man from his line would ever again prosper by trying to sit on David's throne, Jeremiah 22:28-30.
- In fulfillment of this prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem 3 months after Jeconiah began to rule and took him, his mother, his wives and many others captive to Babylon, 2 Kings 24:10-16.
- However, the following history of Jeconiah and his descendants in Scripture offers instructive insight into God's work INDIVIDUALLY to bless and curse people in this line for their OWN lives :
- After 37 years in prison, Jeconiah was released from the prison house and given an allowance and was elevated to eat at the table of Babylon's kings, 2 Kings 25:27-30. This all may have been God's way to honor his ancestor, Elnathan , for godliness [or trying to save Scripture were he the Elnathan of Jer. 36].
- Yet, God's Word held for Jeconiah: he died in Babylon and none of his seed prospered on the throne.
- Nevertheless, the long-term history of Jeconiah's line shows divine judgment mixed with blessing to incorporate both the curse on Jeconiah as well as the blessing of Elnathan and his distant descendant in Joseph who wed Mary, the mother of Jesus: the line's final Biblical descendant was Joseph who wed Mary, Jesus' mother, Matt. 1:11-16; as Jesus came by virgin birth, Joseph's right to the throne became Christ's by adoption, not by birth as Joseph's line via Jeconiah was cursed, Matt. 1:18-25. Yet, in honor of Elnathan and Joseph's own godliness (Mtt. 1:19), God gave Joseph, Elnathan's descendant, the honor of caring for Messiah Jesus and His mother in Christ's early years, Matthew 1:18-2:23; 13:53-56.
Application: (1) We PERSONALLY must heed Scripture for blessing in OUR lives, regardless if we are male or female, child or grandchild. (2) The lives of Elnathan and Joseph reveal it is WORTH PERSONALLY heeding God even if our close or more distant ancestors or descendants were/are evil.