Jeremiah's prophetic writings are not all in chronological order. This
chapter tells a story of something that happened three years prior to the
events of chapter 25. It gives us a snapshot look into the experience of
the prophet at the early days of the reign of the rebellious king Jehoiakim;
and it particularly highlights Jeremiah's faithfulness to proclaim the
message God gave him - no matter what the cost.
I. THE CALL TO PROCLAIM GOD'S WORDS WITHOUT COMPROMISE (vv. 1-6).
A. Note the time in which this was spoken; at the beginning of Jehoiakim's
reign (v. 1).
B. Note also the place; in the court of the temple, as all the cities of
Judah came to worship (v. 2).
C. Note the message; a call to repent at the message of the prophets or
suffer the loss suffered at Shiloh (vv. 4-6; see also1 Sam. 4:10-11; Psalm
D. Note the call; speak without diminishing anything (v. 2).
E. Note the motivation; that perhaps they will listen and repent, and make
it unnecessary that judgment come (v. 3).
II. THE DANGER JEREMIAH EXPERIENCE FOR PROCLAIMING GOD'S MESSAGE (vv.
A. Jeremiah knew the danger; and what he feared happened. His preaching
immediately caused a riot within the temple - led by the priests and the
(false) prophets (vv. 7-9).
B. The princes (governmental rulers) heard of what was happening and
intervened - sitting down at the gate in which the priests entered their court
and calling for a formal hearing so as to restore order (v. 10-11). Their
charge was blasphemy against the temple - a charge ordinarily deserving death
III. THE COURAGEOUS STAND JEREMIAH TOOK IN HOLDING TRUE TO GOD'S
MESSAGE (vv. 12-15).
A. Jeremiah defended that his words were the words that God sent him to say
B. He called the people to the proper response - repentance (v. 13).
C. He stood resolute - that if they took his life, they were shedding the
innocent blood of a man sent to them by God (vv. 14-15).
IV. THE INTERVENTION OF THE LEADERS IN SAVING JEREMIAH'S LIFE
A. The leaders called the people to restrain. Jeremiah has had a
twenty-year history of speaking God's word to them; and he was recognized as
a man of God (v. 16).
B. The elders reminded the people of the experience they had with the
prophet Micah (vv. 17-19; see Micah 3:12).
V. AN EXAMPLE OF THE DANGER JEREMIAH WAS IN (vv. 20-24).
A. A story is related of another prophet (Urijah) who was preaching the
same message (vv. 20-23).
B. This shows us the danger that Jeremiah was truly in, if it had not been
for the intervention of Ahakam (v. 24).
The example of Jeremiah encourages us to remain faithful to God's word at a
time when that word is opposed; and to faithfully tell God's truth no matter
what the cost. May Paul's prayer be our own; "that utterance may be given
to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the gospel, for which I
am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to
speak" (Eph. 6:19-20). God may choose to protect us (Jer. 1:17-19), or He
may allow us to suffer for the message, as Urijah suffered. But it is our
task to proclaim it no matter what.