Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about this conversation, or you may die. If the officials hear that I talked with you, and they come to you and say, “Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us or we will kill you, then tell them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.'”
Throughout the Scripture we read of secret meetings between God’s messengers, and those who do not belong to God, but are in a position of authority, Rahab, the harlot, and the spies Joshua sent. Nicodemus and Jesus. King Zedekiah and Jeremiah. This tells us that God continues to do His will and carry out His kingdom plan for eternity, whether we are aware or not. What sort of secrets abound in our politics, in our nation’s dealings with other nations, in other parts of the world. It doesn’t matter. God knows them all.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet; “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of me, ‘Pharaoh’s army which has marched out to support you will go back to its own land, to Egypt. Then the Babylonians will return and attack this city; they will capture it and burn it down.’
The Lord is not only the God of angel armies, He is also the controller of human armies and great nations. (Psalm 46:8 and 9). Nothing can obstruct His will or His plan for eternity. When the world seems out of control, we need to remember: The One Who is Creator, Redeemer, and Sovereign Lord, is also the One in control.
vs. 3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on then, each of them will turn from his wicked way, then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin. vs. 7 Perhaps they will bring their petition before the LORD, and each will turn from his wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the LORD are great.
Notice, this is not a corporate turning. This is not Israel repenting as a nation. This is individual responsibility for repentance of sin. If each one will turn from their wickedness, then the Lord will forgive. We have the same directive in the New Testament. I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
The whole idea of this chapter is that men will keep a promise they made to a man, but they will disregard a promise they’ve made to God. We honor the traditions of our fathers, but fail to honor the commands of our God. God will honor the Recabites because they obeyed the commands of their forefathers. How much more will He bless His children who keep His commandments and honor Him.
Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.
Luke 10:27 Love your neighbor as you love yourself
John 13:34 A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
vs. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you , brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
Wow! Wouldn’t you want to be known as the one who gives joy and encouragement because you have refreshed the hearts of the saints? If this act of refreshing brings joy and encouragement to other saints who observe it, then we should aspire to this refreshment of the hearts of our brothers and sisters. It is a two-way street and no one loses. How, then, are we to do this? In the Greek, this word is different than you might think. It means a rest from labor as in giving land rest by sowing light and easy crops for a season. It could be as simple as helping someone during a time of stress, lifting their burden by running errands, watching kids for a while, or visiting the sick. One time, I called and sang an old children’s Sunday School song to a friend who was having a few very bad days. She was blessed and lifted up. Ask God. He will be happy to show you how to refresh the hearts of His saints.
vs. 1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient to be ready to do whatever is good. vs. 8 This is a trustworthy saying, And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. vs. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good…
vs. 1. …READY to do whatever is good. vs. 8b…be CAREFUL to devote themselves to doing what is good. vs. 14…LEARN to devote themselves to doing what is good.
Be ready, be careful, and learn to be devoted to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. The AMPLIFIED BIBLE says in vs. 1: upright and honorable work, honorable occupations and doing good deeds, honest labor and honorable employment. Doing good deeds isn’t limited to what we do for our brothers and sisters in Christ. It means being an honorable employee. It means being prepared at any time to do the good and the honorable for anyone. In other words, living daily as ambassadors and representatives of the One Who saved us.
While we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Jesus gave Himself to redeem and to purify a people that were His very own. Think of the different nationalities, and what sets them apart in our world. Aside from language differences – French, German Chinese – there are cultural difference, Native Americans, Japanese, Mexican. Jesus has redeemed a people for Himself that He wants to be different in language and customs. His people will speak the language of love and grace, and be characterized by a culture of eagerness to do good works. We will not only stand out among the nations because of our language and customs, we will be a testimony to the One Who redeemed us.
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.
Our faith and knowledge rests on hope, the hope of eternal life, but that hope rests on the promises of God Himself. There is no more sure foundation than God Himself. Amen.