Monday, January 25, 2021

In the Days of Jeremiah

 Some historical context in which he preached:

Hezekiah reigned before Manasseh and was a good king.

King Manasseh - 2 Kings. 21:1-6 - (55 years)

King Amon - 2 Kings 21:19-22 - (2 years)

So.... 57 years of "Evil  (sin, rebellion against God)... in the eyes of the Lord" - (which = according to God!)

Enter Josiah - 2 Kings 22:1-2    Jeremiah called in the 13th. year of Josiah  (King = 21 years old.)

Today's story begins in 18th. year of Josiah  (King = 26 years old)

So..... this good King (Josiah) had been on the throne 18 years and prophet Jeremiah has been preaching 5 years when the story begins.

2 Kings 22:3-20, 23:1-15, 21-25   (note:  the King had never heard the Law read before)

So... after 31 years of Rule (by Josiah) + 13 years reform work +18 years of preaching (by Jeremiah)....

(1)  Josiah dies in battle ... at the age of 39

(2)  Judah (nations) goes right back where they were under Manasseh!!!  Josiah's godliness  & reform didn't turn the Nation, people, his own sons!!

What follows = 5 evil rulers over 23 years ending with destruction of Jerusalem, temple and 70 years of exile!

THAT = the Story/ the History - the WASM  

Anything here for us?  today?  an ISM!!

#1.  Leadership matters  Israel (northern 10 tribes) went down faster and fell 150 years earlier!!
Israel had 19 kings over 200 years --  none good!!
Judah - had 20 kings over 350 years ... 8 good and 12 bad.

#2.  Great leadership does not guarantee a great nation.  Wasn't that Josiah did "too little too late", rather was just TOO LATE!!!

#3.  Religious reform is not necessarily HEART reform.
josiah changed LAWS - was 13 years with absolute authority and radical reform!!  But, he couldn't change HEARTS   (even his sons!)

#4  The need is NOT to return to the old ways, but to return to the LORD! 
Not a national decision but an individual decision!!!   Revival happens one life at a time!

#5.  A nation can go too far - example:  Huldah - 2 Kings 22:16, Jer. 7:16, 14:11-12

#6.  A nation can also turn - Jer. 18:7-8  Example:  Nineveh
On one hand there is room for grief/sorrow  (Lamentations)
However, there is also room for hope!!  (Lamentations)

BUT for the believer .. is never a place for DESPAIR!!  We're not allowed that.

#7.  Even in the worst case scenario ... God can bring great good out of great evil!  Example:  the Exile - 70 years.  Cured Israel of idolatry.   The Cross.

Rev. 13:5-10 - What's God doing??   Answer:  Something (ultimately) GOOD!!

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