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

Part XIV: Vindication Of Jeremiah's Godly Ministry Amidst Evil Pressures
(Jeremiah 52:1-34)
  1. Introduction
    1. Sadly, not all ministers are upright in character and expound God's truths: many have been accused of misconduct in their lives and many do not speak the truth in love from the pulpit, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
    2. God knew challenges would exist for His people on discerning His true from false servants, so He decreed in Deuteronomy 18:21-22 with Matthew 7:15-20 that we would discern His true from false ministers "by their fruits," or by what resulted from their ministries.
    3. Thus, Jeremiah 52:1-34, written by someone other than Jeremiah, and AFTER his prophetic ministry was OVER, gives reasons for the VALIDITY of Jeremiah's ministry in describing its FRUITS (as follows):
  2. Vindication Of Jeremiah's Godly Ministry Amidst Evil Pressures, Jeremiah 52:1-34.
    1. Jeremiah's prophetic ministry concluded with Jeremiah 51:64b by way of the verse's very statement there.
    2. Thus, Jeremiah 52:1-34 is an "historical appendix" that is "almost identical with 2 Kings 24:18-25:30" and shows "how Jeremiah's prophecies were fulfilled," Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Jer. 52:1.
    3. As such, this section vindicates the prophetic ministry of Jeremiah as being of God (as follows):
      1. Jeremiah's word from God concerning the fate of Zedekiah and his nobles was fully vindicated:
        1. Jeremiah had initially predicted Zedekiah would be honorably taken captive as he had first heeded Jeremiah's word to heed the Law and release the city's Hebrew captives, 34:1-7, 8-10, 13-14a.
        2. However, since Zedekiah had allowed the people to take back their Hebrew captives when the Babylonians started to retreat before the Egyptians, Jeremiah predicted Babylon would return to kill the city leaders, capture Zedekiah and mistreat him and destroy and burn Jerusalem, Jer. 34:11-22.
        3. Accordingly, Jeremiah 52:1-23 details the cruel fall of Zedekiah and his nobles to the Babylonians, the destruction of Jerusalem and the spoil of the temple the Babylonians took with them to Babylon.
        4. Jeremiah 52:24-27 shows the city leaders were executed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 34:19-20: (1) for taking back their Hebrew captives versus the covenant they made to release them, (2) and as this covenant was made by cleaving the carcass of the sacrifice and having its covenantors passing between its parts (34:18), (3) God would fittingly cause the bodies of these nobles to lie exposed as had the bodies of the sacrifice by which they had made this false oath!
      2. Jeremiah's word from God concerning the faithless remnant after Jerusalem's fall was fully vindicated:
        1. Jeremiah 52:28-30 records three different deportations of captives from Jerusalem to Babylon, the last deportation coming about apparently in retribution for the assassination of Gedaliah, Babylon's puppet governor, Ibid., ftn. to Jeremiah 52:30.
        2. This last deportation would have occurred in fulfillment of the Jeremiah 42:9-12 prophecy that God would make Nebuchadnezzar treat them well if they did not flee to Egypt at Gedaliah's death.
        3. So, failure to heed God's Word by Jeremiah had led to Nebuchadnezzar's taking more captives!
      3. Jeremiah's word from God concerning the Davidic line and Jeconiah was fully vindicated:
        1. Jeremiah 52:31-34 records how God began to fulfill Jeremiah 22:20-23:8: though He had promised Jehoiachin [alias Coniah, Jeconiah, Ibid., p. 1078] would never have a descendant sit on David's throne (Jer. 22:20-30), a Branch, the Messiah, would yet spring out of the cut off stump of David's line, and His Name would be, "The Lord Our Righteousness," Jeremiah 23:1-8.
        2. Thus, Jer. 52:31-34 shows how Jeconiah was treated well in captivity as God began to show He would fulfill Jeremiah 22:20-23:8 and keep the Davidic line going so Christ could arise as the Righteous Branch to rule free of Jeconiah's curse via the virgin birth [cf. our lesson in Part V, F in this series entitled, "Hoping In God's Coming Solution For Man's Failed Government Rulers"!]
Lesson: Jeremiah was a godly man whose predictions God fulfilled according to the testimony of other, later witnesses, so WE know Jeremiah was a prophet of God: his FRUITS bear testimony to that fact!

Application: (1) If we wonder if a given minister is godly and heeds God, we need only look at what his life and ministry in TIME PRODUCES, cf. 1 Tim. 5:22, 24-25! (2) If we are being questioned as to our credibility in life and ministry, just let the FRUIT of our lives and ministries do the talking!