Old Testament: Jeremiah 22:1-23:20
Jeremiah 22:1-23:20 Opening A New Branch
Chap.22 Judah still is not listening to Jeremiah’s warning of impending doom. So he continues and also warns the King, Jehoiakim in vv. 13-19. He was disgraced in death. His body was dumped on a garbage heap (cf. v. 19).
Jeremiah then denounces his son, Coniah (cf. Jer. 37:1), aka Jeconiah (cf. Jer. 24:1; 27:20). He is usually called Jehoiachin. That’s a lot of names for a guy who only ruled for three months (cf. 2 Kings 24:8- 15; 25:27- 30).
Notice the last verse of this chapter is a curse on Coniah (aka Jehoiachin aka Jeconiah). He was going to be childless and none of his descendants was going to sit on the throne of David. That yields a dilemma of sorts. The throne of David was supposed to last forever (cf. Jer. 33:17, also 36:30). But the line of David through Coniah was cut off. Now what? The answer is that there are two genealogies in the New Testament. One traces Jesus’ lineage from David through David’s son, Solomon, to Jeconiah/Coniah to Joseph. Joseph was Jesus’ legal father. But the other genealogy is found in Luke and traces Jesus’ genealogy from Mary back through a different son of David, Nathan, to David (Luke 3:23-38). In that way it bypassed the line of Jeconiah. So Jesus is a blood descendant of David through Mary. Isn’t God amazing? If that weren’t so, the prophecies of Jeremiah would have been false and Jesus would not have qualified to be Messiah.
Chap. 23:1-20 The “shepherds” in verse 1 are the political leaders. Have you ever thought political leaders are “shepherds”? They are supposed to take care of the people they serve. The leaders in Judah were not doing their job.
Verse 5 is a prophecy of Jesus, “the Branch” (cf. Isa. 4:2). He is “righteous” in contrast to the political leaders of Jeremiah’s day. He is the hope of Judah.
In verses 9 – 20, the false prophets are again chastised. The Living Bible says in verse 18, “But can you name even one of these prophets who lives close enough to God to hear what he is saying? Has even one of them cared enough to listen?” They were supposed to be the ones close to God and hearing directly from him but they were deaf. Christians today should be able to hear from the Lord (cf. John 10:4) but how many are really listening to His voice?
Verse 16 is a warning, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination . . . .” We have false prophets today with detestable theologies that are leading the world into a worse destruction than was coming on Judah. They were not to listen to the false prophets and neither should we. How can we avoid them? We must know the Word.
New Testament: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 Hill No
2 Thessalonians was written not long after 1 Thessalonians. There was a misunderstanding about what Paul meant when he explained the “Day of the Lord” in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. Some had stopped working thinking that the judgments of the Lord had already arrived. There have been times in church history when similar things have occurred. The Millerites in the mid-1800’s thought that the Day had arrived so they all went up on a hill to wait for the Lord. When the “Day” never arrived, they came back down the hill and formed part of Seventh Day Adventists.
Paul assures the Thessalonians that they should be working and rebukes the church leaders for allowing people to be idle.
Paul once again gives thanks for those in his charge (v. 3). Pastors, do you give thanks for those God has given you no matter how much of a blessing or how difficult they may be? The Thessalonians were known to Paul as loving people whose love grew more and more toward each other (vv. 1 Thess. 1:3; 3:6; 3:12; 4:9). They were persevering despite the persecutions they were enduring (v. 4). Their perseverance in suffering was a proof of their salvation (v. 5).
When Jesus returns in retribution, he will repay those who have been harming the Thessalonians as well as all who have rejected His message of grace (vv. 6-8). Norman Geisler has described Hell as a bunch of people in a room all selfishly wanting their own way. Verse 9 says they will be “away from the presence of the Lord.” I have had some friends that thought that Hell was going to be like one big party. It will not.
Jesus will come back to be “glorified in His saints” (v. 10). The word “saints” literally means “holies.” God sees all His believing children as holy in Christ. They are still obligated to become practically holy (cf. Phil. 2: 12-13) but God sees them through Christ “positionally” and sees them as pure. If He didn’t, no one would get into Heaven. God will be “glorified” in them, that He has extended them His grace.
Paul doesn’t pray that the Thessalonians might “prosper” (v. 11). His prayer is that they will live up to the life God has for them, to be “good” and that they will exercise their faith in works empowered by the Holy Spirit. The result will be that Christ will be glorified in them because of His own grace through Jesus Christ (v. 12).