• W. Austin Gardner

God Deals with Corruption among His people



Jeremiah 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

  1. Wicked political leaders

  2. They were given the Word of God, all political leaders should be influenced by the Word of God Jeremiah 22:1 Thus saith the Lord; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, 2 And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:

  3. They were told to do right Jeremiah 22:3 Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness,

  4. They were to help those who had been robbed and mistreated by those who take advantage Jeremiah 22:3 and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor:

  5. They were not to do what they knew was wrong Jeremiah 22:3 and do no wrong,

  6. They were not to mistreat foreigners Jeremiah 22:3 do no violence to the stranger,

  7. They were to help those who couldn’t help themselves Jeremiah 22:3 the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

  8. God promised blessings if they did right Jeremiah 22:4 For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.

  9. They were warned about the consequences of disobedience Jeremiah 22:5 But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation. 6 For thus saith the Lord unto the king’s house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. 7 And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.

  10. People would be shocked to see what happened to God’s people, city, and country Jeremiah 22:8 And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city? 9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

  11. Jeremiah and God’s people were to side with God against the sin of the nation

  12. They were not to weep for the sinful dead and dying Jeremiah 22:10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him:

  13. They should weep for the living that were being carried into captivity Jeremiah 22:10 But weep sore for him that goeth away: For he shall return no more, Nor see his native country. 11 For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more: 12 But he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.

  14. Don’t think you can get away with sin either, exploiting others Jeremiah 22:13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, And his chambers by wrong; That useth his neighbour’s service without wages, And giveth him not for his work;

  15. Your money and success will not free you from God’s judgment Jeremiah 22:14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, And cutteth him out windows; And it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. 15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? Did not thy father eat and drink, And do judgment and justice, And then it was well with him?

  16. You can’t have your father’s blessings without his obedience Jeremiah 22:16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: Was not this to know me? saith the Lord. 17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, And for to shed innocent blood, And for oppression, and for violence, to do it.

  17. Your wickedness has consequences Jeremiah 22:18 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!

  18. Shame instead of glory Jeremiah 22:19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, Drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

  19. God destroys everything they rely on, allies Jeremiah 22:20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, And cry from the passages: For all thy lovers are destroyed. Jeremiah 22:22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, And thy lovers shall go into captivity: Surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.

  20. God had warned them when they were prospering Jeremiah 22:21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; But thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, That thou obeyedst not my voice.

  21. You are going to be cast out of your country Jeremiah 22:24 As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; 25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. 27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return. 28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. 30 Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

  22. Characteristics of a wicked man of God

  23. They do not take care of God’s people Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. 2 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.

  24. They are profane Jeremiah 23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; Yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.

  25. Instead of telling the truth, they tell lies and cause God’s people to do wrong Jeremiah 23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; They prophesied in Baal, And caused my people Israel to err. 14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: They commit adultery, and walk in lies: They strengthen also the hands of evildoers, That none doth return from his wickedness: They are all of them unto me as Sodom, And the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.

  26. Instead of God’s Word they preach their own ideas Jeremiah 23:16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

  27. They have no burden from God Jeremiah 23:33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord. 34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the Lord, I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken? 36 And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. 37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and, What hath the Lord spoken? 38 But since ye say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord; 39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and 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.

  28. Characteristics of the good man of God

  29. They feed the sheep Jeremiah 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.

  30. Turns people from their sin Jeremiah 23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

  31. Trusts the power of the Word of God Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

  32. Believe God is really here Jeremiah 23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

  33. Preaches truth that causes God’s people to think about God Jeremiah 23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

  34. Speaks the Word of God faithfully Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.

  35. There is coming a day when God will make it all right Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and

  36. Jesus will reign Jeremiah 23:5 a King shall reign and prosper,

  37. Jesus will do right Jeremiah 23:5 and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

  38. God will rescue His people Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

  39. They will no longer talk about the distant past, but what God just did Jeremiah 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

  40. The horrible sin and rebellion broke Jeremiah’s heart Jeremiah 23:9 Mine 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 hath overcome, Because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; For because of swearing the land mourneth; The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, And their course is evil, and their force is not right.

  41. God will judge the wicked men of God Jeremiah 23:12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: They shall be driven on, and fall therein: For I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 23:15 Therefore thus saith 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 is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

  42. God is going to judge Jeremiah 23:18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

  43. His anger will accomplish its purpose Jeremiah 23:20 The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

  44. God didn’t send those prophets Jeremiah 23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

  45. God is against these false teachers Jeremiah 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.