Sunday

Scripture Reading:
Jer. 22:14-19, 21

“I spoke to you in your prosperity; But you said, I will not listen. This has been your way from your youth, That you have not listened to My voice.”(Jeremiah 22:21)
the negative example of jehoiakim, the son of josiah

Jeremiah 22:14 shows us a contrast between the life of Jehoiakim and that of his father, Josiah. Jehoiakim said, "I will build myself a large house with spacious upper chambers." He said he would cut out windows for it, panel it with cedar and paint it with vermillion. Jehoiakim was planning his life, only concerned about himself. As for you, what is your goal? Are you also only thinking about yourself?

Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, did not follow the example of his father. He was only concerned about having a good house and was also competing with another king about how much cedar he would put into his house. He had no concern for the things of God as his father had. It is like this today. People are motivated by competition and rivalry. Truthfully, people are enslaved by the desire to have more than their neighbors or their colleagues at work. Many get new cars or electrical appliances, not because they need them, but rather because they want to "keep up," so that others will see. We must be careful not to fall into a situation like this because it is too expensive. Many in the world sell their lunch time, their rest time, their time with their family and even their own health to keep the appearance of having a salary that can pay for this kind of competition. Why do they take out loans for this? It is because of envy and rivalry.

In Jeremiah 22:15-16 the Lord reminded Jehoiakim that his father Josiah, though he didn't seek these extravagances, lived very well: he had enough to eat and drink; he helped those with afflictions and the needy ones; and everything went well for him. The Lord took care of all of Josiah's needs. He was someone who sought the kingdom of God first. He knew the Lord. Everything he had was for the Lord and, because of this, the Lord added much to him.

On the other hand, Jehoiakim's eyes and heart were only seeking unjust gain (v. 17). Because of the unjust gain, rather than practicing righteousness, he practiced violence and extortion. The Lord even tried to speak to him in the midst of his prosperity, but he refused to listen (v. 21). Actually, the times we least hear the Lord's voice are in times of prosperity. When we are in difficulty, we spontaneously seek the Lord, but when everything is going well, we forget about Him. The Lord said to Jehoiakim, "I spoke to you in your prosperity; but you said, I will not listen. This has been your way from your youth, that you have not listened to My voice."

How did Jehoiakim become like that? It is because this was his way from his youth. The Lord spoke to him, but he would not listen. He wouldn't listen because his heart and his eyes were set on his own plans, competition and gain for earthly things. The Lord spoke to him many times, but he refused to listen. As a result, his end was like that of an animal that is dragged and cast out beyond the gates of the city. His end was very sad and pitiful.

We hope that all those who read this book will follow the positive examples of Jeremiah and Josiah. We must invest the best that we have in God's plan, which is to rescue people who have become poor and bring them back to the Lord. Let us not be content to be passive Christians. We must long to be active Christians who are seeking the Lord and having intense fellowship with Him. Get rid of everything that replaces God in your life, seek fellowship with the saints, actively participate in all the meetings, serve the Lord and bring others to serve Him. Young person, receive God's calling. Purify yourself from your wrongdoings and become a vessel unto honor, sanctified and useful in the Potter's house.

Key Point:
Listen
Question:
How can you avoid becoming like Jehoiakim?