June 14


Jeremiah 22-24

We are in the Prophetic Stream reading with the New American Standard Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord, the cost of disobedience is so grave.  Give us hearts of obedience. We offer up to you, as the song says, “here’s my heart, o’ take and seal it, seal it for thy courts of above. Amen.

22 – This chapter is a warning to King Jehoiakim.  He reigned until 598 B.C. when the Babylonians were “at the door” and the first (not the final) captivity began for Judeans.  The final caravan of captives occurred 12 years later in 586 B.C. when Zedekiah was king.  Speaking of Zedekiah, all inference points to him being the one spoken to in Jer. 22:2; “hear the word of the Lord, O King…”  Zedekiah ended up witnessing the finale~ in time, but the literature of this chapter takes us back through a listing of the final five kings that covered the last 50+ years of the Kingdom during its demise. Josiah gave goodness a fair effort, but the other four were wretched, demented, and duplicitous to the core. they were unjust, oppressive, robbers, violent, cruel to orphans and widows, and treacherous to the innocent. God gives a last offer to change their ways before ruining the place.  God had offered always to preserve them but the snubbing of God’s reminders and The Covenant was too incessant. The invaders will reverence nothing. They will be like vandals with clubs storming through a jewelry store made of glass shelves [to use some modern picture].  The violence, the death/killing, the fires … there won’t even be any time for mourning or funerals. And no allies will come to help.  The chapter ends railing upon Jehoiachin; the 4th of the last 5 kings. His uncle Zedekiah actually followed him and none of Jehoiachin’s children ever ended up being king.

23 – As Hitler was ransacking Europe and looking to go in all directions with his plan to conquer and absorb. There were two opinions: Churchill in England was telling people to prepare for war or be conquered, and there was Chamberlain in England who was telling them to relax, rest, and be well for “there is peace in our time.”  The prophets that Jeremiah is scolding were oblivious as Chamberlain and they were dark as darkness in their hearts, their words, and their plans. They cared nothing for God’s people. The people would be scattered from following these false prophets.  Later, God would gather them again and one day reign. This “Righteous Branch of David” is One who will reign in a Messianic era.  That was coming.  For now, there are lying prophets to shush.  They are using Baal, bringing on disaster, doing deals with evil, wretched as Gomorrah.  These prophets spread evil across the land, they do NOT speak for God, yet claim that they do while touting about peace as they work their evil.  Because of them, all will be cast out.  God wants a memorandum to go national: The prophets claim they have the Word of the Lord – but it didn’t come from me-says the Lord!
24 – The people God would preserve [1] and the people God would allow to be decimated [2] are illustrated as two baskets of figs.  One was like first fruits, ripe and sweet and desirable. These were akin to the initial captives taken to Babylon in 597 B.C.  Jehoiachin was on this trek of those hauled away as slaves to Babylon, as were Ezekiel and Daniel. [Remember we read Daniel last winter.] He was a young teen of about 13 walking to Babylon. He started out a slave and became virtual regent of the country!  Strangely enough, God carried these ones away to preserve them; they were the “good basket of figs.”  The second basket were the ones who thought they would stay in Judah and call up help from Egypt to resist the Babylonians who were on their final push to take all of Judah.  Those who stay back, like rotten figs, will be only fit for discarding. Their future is bleak, they will be cursed, and ridiculed and devastated.  Rotten figs get thrown out and buried in a compost heap. The people who remain to fight Babylon have a similar fate.

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