Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part X: Events Just Before Jerusalem's Fall
A. Learning To Revere God's Revelation Over Man's Reasoning
(Jeremiah 34:1-22)
  1. Introduction
    1. Various Christian authorities today tend to subject their interpretation of Scripture to the views of secular human reasoning: for example, some presume that since secular scientists reason the formation of the universe took billions of years, this reasoning must be revered so that we are to interpret the Bible's word for "day" in Genesis 1 as a figurative era of millions of years to allow for billions of years in the chapter!
    2. However, such an interpretive arrangement is false: Genesis 1 reveals each of its six "days" consisted of solar days of mornings and evenings (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), which days were grounds for the solar Sabbath day in Exodus 20:9-11; thus, the Bible's internal evidence shows the word, "day" in Genesis 1 can only be viewed as a solar day, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Genesis 1:5!
    3. Well, Jeremiah 34:1-22 calls us to heed God's Scripture revelation ABOVE human reasoning:
  2. Learning To Revere God's Revelation Over Man's Reasoning, Jeremiah 34:1-22.
    1. God initially predicted king Zedekiah would be taken captive by Babylon but enjoy an honorable life for his MIXING DISOBEDIENCE to God's WORD WITH RESPECT for GOD, Jer. 34:1-7 with 37:1-3:
      1. Judah's king, Zedekiah did not heed the words of God through Jeremiah (Jer. 37:1-2) though he did honor God in sending messengers to Jeremiah to ask him to pray to God for His help, Jeremiah 37:3.
      2. Hence, God through Jeremiah initially promised Zedekiah a MIX of captivity judgment and honor:
        1. When Babylon was laying siege to Jerusalem, God sent Jeremiah to speak to Zedekiah, Jer. 34:1-2a.
        2. That message predicted God would cause Zedekiah to fall captive to the king of Babylon and to go into Babylon as a result due to his failure to follow the Lord's Word, Jeremiah 34:2b-3.
        3. However, for at least respecting God in asking Jeremiah to pray for His help, Jeremiah announced Zedekiah would be treated honorably in his captivity, 34:4-7; Bib. Kno. Com., O. T., p. 1177-1178.
    2. Yet, when Zedekiah let the slave owners of Judah errantly heed HUMAN REASONING ABOVE GOD'S WORD, God said they would ALL face a fitting and SEVERE judgment, Jeremiah 34:8-22:
      1. After Jeremiah's initial message, Zedekiah decreed that all Jewish slaves be freed, 34:8-10; Ibid., 1178.
      2. The Law had called Jews to release fellow Hebrew slaves every 7th year, Ex. 21:1-2. As this law had never been kept (Jer. 34:13-14), Zedekiah felt he might gain God's military aid were he to heed it!
      3. Well, AFTER this decree by Zedekiah, news had come that the Egyptians were coming to fight Babylon's army, so the Babylonians had withdrawn from their siege of Jerusalem, Jer. 37:5-11; Ibid.
      4. Presuming on their own reasoning above God's Word through Jeremiah that (a) Babylon would not attack again, (b) that they would thus not be taken to Babylon (c) and would need workers to rebuild the ruins by the invaders, the slave owners re-enslaved their former slaves, 34:11; Ibid.!
      5. Zedekiah and his officials gave tacit approval for this violation of the Law as Jer. 34:21 implies, Ibid.
      6. Well, God did not approve of Judah's return to this violation of His Law nor of Zedekiah's tolerance of it, so He predicted they would have a fitting kind of RE-ENSLAVEMENT to Babylon, Jer. 34:12-22.
        1. God revealed He had related to Judah through her history in accord with His WORD, 34:12-13.
        2. That Word had called them to release their Hebrew slaves every seventh year, 34:14a,b; Ex. 21:2.
        3. However, their fathers had not heeded that command, so their taking back their recently released slaves in violation of their covenant had caused them NOT to KEEP that law, Jer. 34:14c-17b!
        4. Thus, God [similarly] promised that for re-enslaving their released Hebrew slaves, they would all be "released to" be taken into a kind of RE-ENSLAVEMENT by the Babylonians, Jer. 34:17c-22!
      7. [Zedekiah himself had a tragic end as a mistreated SLAVE: he was caught, made to see his sons killed before his eyes were put out, and he was taken bound to Babylon where he died in prison, Jer. 52:7-11].
Lesson: For heeding faulty, frail human reasoning ABOVE God's true and authoritative revelation, Judah and her king, Zedekiah came under God's fitting, severe judgment!

Application: May we put SCRIPTURE ABOVE the REASONING of MAN as to what is true and authoritative, for man's reasoning is faulty and weak where Scripture is true and fully authoritative!