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"Shepherds That Scattered "
Wednesday AM Bible Study
January 19, 2005
This is a continuation of a section that began in chapter 21 in which God
speaks to the house of David - the kings of Judah. In chapter 21, He spoke to
the immediate situation; but in chapters 22-23:8, He lays out His long-term
The rule of the kings of Judah is a sad story. Some were godly; but many
were not. And each ungodly king brought the people of God further and
further into judgment. They are likened in this section to shepherds who
neglect and destroy and scatter the sheep of God (23:2). Examining the
story would make one long for a king who would, one day, come and lead the
God promises this in chapter 23:5-6. What a glorious day that will be!!
But before then, we read the story of the shame and sorrow brought upon the
people by their ungodly rulers who forgot the God of their fathers.
I. GOD'S STANDARD FOR THE KINGS (22:1-9).
A. God commands to the kings what He requires of them (vv. 1-5).
B. God warns them what will happen if they will not hear Him and choose
instead to forsake His covenant with them and turn to other gods (vv. 6-9).
II. GOD'S RECORD OF THEIR PERFORMANCE (22:10-23:2).
A. Jehoiahaz, the son of good king Josiah (vv. 10-17). God commands the
people not to weep for the king who died (Josiah); but instead to weep for
the one who will go into captivity (Jehoiahaz, here called "Shallum" (v.
11). He was characterized by materialism; but was sent into captivity to
Egypt and died there (2 Chron. 36:1-4).
B. Jehoiakim, his brother, reigned in his place (vv. 18-23; see also 2
Chron. 36:4-8). He also was taken captive by the king of Egypt.
C. His son Jehoiachin reigned in his place (2 Chron. 36:9-10). He was
taken captive by the king of Babylon (vv. 24-30). Although his brother
reigned in his place, the lineage of the kings became cursed, and ended with
him until the time of Jesus.
D. His brother Zedekiah reigned in his place (2 Chron. 36:11-21). He was
the king at the time that Jeremiah spoke. Under him, all the nation was
taken captive. The sad story is summed up in 23:1-2.
III. GOD'S PROMISE FOR THE FUTURE (23:3-8).
God did not abandon His people, however. He promises good shepherds (vv.
3-4), a good King (vv. 5-6), and a future deliverance (vv. 7-8).