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Wicked Leaders, True Shepherd 

Jeremiah 22–24 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • April 14, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

  1. Chaps 21–33 | Prophecies of Judgment & the Messiah 
    1. Chaps 21–29 | Judgment: Judah & Nations 
      1. Chap 22–24 | Wicked Leaders, True Shepherd 
        1. Chap 22 | Ungodly Kings 
          1. 22.1–10 | Do This or Face Destruction 

            1 Thus says the LORD: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word, 2 and say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, you who sit on the throne of David, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates! 3 Thus says the LORD: Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you indeed do this thing, then shall enter the gates of this house, riding on horses and in chariots, accompanied by servants and people, kings who sit on the throne of David. 5 But if you will not hear these words, I swear by Myself, says the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.” 6 For thus says the LORD to the house of the king of Judah:

            “You are Gilead to Me,
            The head of Lebanon;
            Yet I surely will make you a wilderness,
            Cities which are not inhabited.
            7 I will prepare destroyers against you,
            Everyone with his weapons;
            They shall cut down your choice cedars
            And cast them into the fire.

            8 And many nations will pass by this city; and everyone will say to his neighbor, ‘Why has the LORD done so to this great city?’ 9 Then they will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.’”

            10 Weep not for the dead, nor bemoan him;
            Weep bitterly for him who goes away,
            For he shall return no more,
            Nor see his native country.

            – Jeremiah 22.1–10
            1. Remember that King Zedekiah had asked what wonderful things God would do for them (21.1–2). 
            2. What wonderful things did the Lord want Zedekiah and his people to do? 
            3. What did the Lord promise would happen if Zedekiah did those things? 
            4. What would happen if they did not do those things? 
          2. 22.11–17 | Covetous vs Justice

            11 For thus says the LORD concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, who went from this place: “He shall not return here anymore, 12 but he shall die in the place where they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.

            13 “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness
            And his chambers by injustice,
            Who uses his neighbor’s service without wages
            And gives him nothing for his work,
            14 Who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house with spacious chambers,
            And cut out windows for it,
            Paneling it with cedar
            And painting it with vermilion.’
            15 Shall you reign because you enclose yourself in cedar?
            Did not your father eat and drink,
            And do justice and righteousness?
            Then it was well with him.
            16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy;
            Then it was well.
            Was not this knowing Me?” says the LORD.
            17 “Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness,
            For shedding innocent blood,
            And practicing oppression and violence.”

            – Jeremiah 22.11–17
            1. What would happen to the previous king? 
            2. Would it be well with the one who has a great house, but does not compensate those who work for him? 
            3. Why did it go well with Josiah? 
          3. 22.18–23 | Sad End of a King

            18 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:

            “They shall not lament for him,
            Saying, ‘Alas, my brother!’ or ‘Alas, my sister!’
            They shall not lament for him,
            Saying, ‘Alas, master!’ or ‘Alas, his glory!’
            19 He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey,
            Dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
            20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,
            And lift up your voice in Bashan;
            Cry from Abarim,
            For all your lovers are destroyed.
            21 I spoke to you in your prosperity,
            But you said, ‘I will not hear.’
            This has been your manner from your youth,
            That you did not obey My voice.
            22 The wind shall eat up all your rulers,
            And your lovers shall go into captivity;
            Surely then you will be ashamed and humiliated
            For all your wickedness.
            23 O inhabitant of Lebanon,
            Making your nest in the cedars,
            How gracious will you be when pangs come upon you,
            Like the pain of a woman in labor?

            – Jeremiah 22.18–23
            1. What would the people not do for Jehoiakim? 
            2. What had been their manner from youth? 
            3. What would make them ashamed and humiliated? 
          4. 22.24–30 | Sad End of Another King

            24 “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; 25 and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear—the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return.

            28 Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol—
            A vessel in which is no pleasure?
            Why are they cast out, he and his descendants,
            And cast into a land which they do not know?
            29 O earth, earth, earth,
            Hear the word of the LORD!
            30 Thus says the LORD:
            “Write this man down as childless,
            A man who shall not prosper in his days;
            For none of his descendants shall prosper,
            Sitting on the throne of David,
            And ruling anymore in Judah.”

            – Jeremiah 22.24–30
            1. If they did not repent, could anything stop Nebuchadnezzar? 
            2. Who needs to hear this message? 
            3. Would David have anymore kings sitting on a throne in Jerusalem? 
        2. 23.1–4 | Wicked Shepherds

          1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD. 3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD.

          – Jeremiah 23.1–4
          1. What would the Lord do to the shepherds who scattered His sheep? 
          2. Who would bring the sheep back together? 
        3. 23.5–6 | New King

          5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
          “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
          A King shall reign and prosper,
          And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
          6 In His days Judah will be saved,
          And Israel will dwell safely;
          Now this is His name by which He will be called:

          – Jeremiah 23.5–6
          1. If a king from David would not sit on his throne in Jerusalem, from where would this king reign? 
          2. What will the name of this new king be? 
        4. 23.7–8 | New Point in History

          7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”

          – Jeremiah 23.7–8
          1. Note the major turning point of history here. 
          2. How did they used to refer to the Lord? 
          3. How would they begin referring to Him? 
        5. 23.9–40 | False Prophets 
          1. 23.9–10 | Against False Prophets

            9 My heart within me is broken
            Because of the prophets;
            All my bones shake.
            I am like a drunken man,
            And like a man whom wine has overcome,
            Because of the LORD,
            And because of His holy words.
            10 For the land is full of adulterers;
            For because of a curse the land mourns.
            The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up.
            Their course of life is evil,
            And their might is not right.

            – Jeremiah 23.9–10
            1. What made Jeremiah like a drunken man? 
            2. What did he mean? 
            3. Of what was the land full? 
            4. As a result of sin, what was the land like? 
          2. 23.11–14 | Profane Prophets & Priest

            11 “For both prophet and priest are profane;
            Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the LORD.
            12 “Therefore their way shall be to them
            Like slippery ways;
            In the darkness they shall be driven on
            And fall in them;
            For I will bring disaster on them,
            The year of their punishment,” says the LORD.
            13 “And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria:
            They prophesied by Baal
            And caused My people Israel to err.
            14 Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem:
            They commit adultery and walk in lies;
            They also strengthen the hands of evildoers,
            So that no one turns back from his wickedness.
            All of them are like Sodom to Me,
            And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

            – Jeremiah 23.11–14
            1. Where did the Lord find the wickedness of prophet and priest? 
            2. What were the prophets of Jerusalem doing? 
          3. 23.15 | Wormwood & Gall for Them

            15 “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets:
            ‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
            And make them drink the water of gall;
            For from the prophets of Jerusalem
            Profaneness has gone out into all the land.’”

            – Jeremiah 23.15
            1. Why would the Lord make the prophets of Jerusalem suffer? 
          4. 23.16–17 | Ignore These Prophets

            16 Thus says the LORD of hosts:

            “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
            They make you worthless;
            They speak a vision of their own heart,
            Not from the mouth of the LORD.
            17 They continually say to those who despise Me,
            ‘The LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’;
            And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own  heart, they say,
            ‘No evil shall come upon you.’”

            – Jeremiah 23.16–17
            1. If they listened to false prophets what would it make them? 
            2. Where did the false prophets get their messages? 
            3. What were they teaching? 
          5. 23.18–22 | Hear These Prophets

            18 For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD,
            And has perceived and heard His word?
            Who has marked His word and heard it?
            19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury—
            A violent whirlwind!
            It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
            20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back
            Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
            In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
            21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
            I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
            22 But if they had stood in My counsel,
            And had caused My people to hear My words,
            Then they would have turned them from their evil way
            And from the evil of their doings.”

            – Jeremiah 23.18–22
            1. What has the true prophet or preacher done? 
            2. Instead of peace, what would the wicked have? 
            3. How long would the anger of the Lord last? 
            4. If the prophets had stood in the Lord’s counsel, what would they have done and what would the people of have done? 
          6. 23.23–29 | God Knows the False Prophets

            23 “Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD,
            “And not a God afar off?
            24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
            So I shall not see him?” says the LORD;
            “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.

            25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.

            28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
            And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
            What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.
            29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD,
            “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”

            – Jeremiah 23.23–29
            1. Is God only here but not over there? 
            2. Is it possible to hide from God? 
            3. Why, according to this context, can no one hide from God? 
            4. What were the false prophets seeking to do? 
          7. 23.30–32 | Identifying False Prophets

            30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.

            – Jeremiah 23.30–32
            1. What were the prophets stealing from their neighbors? 
            2. What did the people do by listening to these prophets? 
          8. 23.33–40 | Consequences of Falsehood

            33 “So when these people or the prophet or the priest ask you, saying, ‘What is the oracle of the LORD?’ you shall then say to them, ‘What oracle?’ I will even forsake you,” says the LORD. 34 “And as for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus every one of you shall say to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 36 And the oracle of the LORD you shall mention no more. For every man’s word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 38 But since you say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Because you say this word, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ and I have sent to you, saying, ‘Do not say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ 39 therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence. 40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.”

            – Jeremiah 23.33–40
            1. What would happen because of the false preaching? 
        6. Chap 24 | Baskets of Figs 
          1. 24.1–3 | Good and Bad Figs

            1 The LORD showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the LORD, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten, they were so bad. 3 Then the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”  And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, which cannot be eaten, they are so bad.”

            – Jeremiah 24.1–3
            1. You have seen bowls of good fruit and bad fruit. 
            2. How did you react when you saw bad fruit? 
          2. 24.4–7 | The Good Figs

            4 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”

            – Jeremiah 24:4–7
            1. Who did the good figs represent? 
            2. What was the message for the people who were the good figs? 
            3. Verse has parts of The _______________ Promise of God. 
          3. 24.8–10 | The Bad Figs

            8 “And as the bad figs which cannot be eaten, they are so bad—surely thus says the LORD—so will I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. 9 I will deliver them to trouble into all the kingdoms of the earth, for their harm, to be a reproach and a byword, a taunt and a curse, in all places where I shall drive them. 10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them, till they are consumed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.”

            – Jeremiah 24.8–10
            1. Who did the bad figs represent? 
            2. What was the message for the people who were the bad figs?