1-7 | God’s message to the king sitting on David’s throne
8-9 | The nations will wonder why God allowed this destruction to happen
10 | Weep for the exile, not the dead
11-12 | God’s message for Shallum (Jehoahaz), son of Josiah
13-17 | God’s message, “How did you become king?”
18-23 | God’s message to Jehoiakim, son of Josiah
24-30 | God’s message to Coniah (Jehoiachin), son of Jehoiakim
God now gives specific messages to be delivered to the final kings of Judah. Each of the final kings are told that they will never see Jerusalem again in this life. The will die in captivity or be killed outside the city. Many will wonder why God would allow this to happen to this people, the city of Jerusalem. The answer is given in verses 8 and 9.
Jeremiah 22:8-9 NASB “Many nations will pass by this city; and they will say to one another, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this great city?’ 9 “Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.'”
The reason is not hidden. It is plain and simple, they served other gods. The committed spiritual adultery by turning to other gods and forsaking their first love which they bound themselves to in covenant, God.
The rulers are accused by God of losing focus and thinking too highly of themselves and their “rise” to power. In verse 13-17, we find in the message to Shallum (Jehoahaz) that he was more concerned about furnishing his home and seeking dishonest gain than of administering justice and righteousness in the land by taking care of the afflicted and needy, which his father Josiah did.
The same is still true today. When a nation forsakes God, they will go through a time of judgment. How they respond to it will determine how God will respond to them. I pray that each nation would turn to God and to seek His ways that He might be glorified in all the earth.
Lord God, King of the Universe, nations rise and fall based on how they and their leaders execute justice and righteousness in the land and by how they make provisions for the afflicted and needy, the poor, the widowed, and the orphans, and by how they honor You. I pray that all leaders everywhere will turn to You, to Your Word for guidance, and restore justice and righteousness to their lands and that Your name would be lifted up and given the place of honor that You deserve. Forgive our sins and heal our lands. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.