Jeremiah 21–23 | No Favor Without Repentance
As we continue to summarize the various sections of Jeremiah, we notice that the next section spans Jeremiah 21-23. This is what God is communicating in this section – No Favor Without Repentance.
King Zedekiah sends to Jeremiah requesting that God would help him defeat Nebuchadnezzar. God sends back through Jeremiah a response to:
- The people
- The king’s household
- The prophets and priests
The gist of his messages is:
- Zedekiah will lose
- Everyone should go out to the king of Babylon
- Repent and do right before it’s absolutely too late
- Speak God’s word and not the deceptions of your own mind
This section contains the first mention of Nebuchadnezzar and Chaldea/Babylon. Also, I think we have here the first mention of surrendering to Babylon as an option for the people whereby they might live and escape the full brunt of punishment.
Jeremiah 24 | Exiles Blessed, Remnant Punished
Then Jeremiah 24 seems to be a follow-up to the previous section where blessing was promised for surrendering to Babylon.
Here’s the idea of this section. Exiles Blessed, Remnant Punished.
King Jeconiah did surrender and go out to Babylon and because of that he would be blessed, as we’ll see at the end of this book – in Jeremiah 52. But the Jews who stayed in Jerusalem are going to be punished.
Jeremiah 25 | Judah Not the Sole Recipient of Punishment
Jeremiah 25 has the Lord assuring Judah that She’s Not the Sole Recipient of Punishment.
Both Judah and all the surrounding nations will be punished through the Lord sending Babylon. For seventy years these nations will be exiled. After that God will punish Babylon itself as we’ll hear later toward the end of the book.
Jeremiah 26 | Jerusalem like Shiloh, Jehoiakim not like Hezekiah
Jeremiah 26 compares Jerusalem to Shiloh. But in contrast, it shows that King Jehoiakim was not like righteous King Hezekiah of old.
God sent Jeremiah to proclaim punishment to Jerusalem in the beginning of King Jehoiakim’s reign, hoping that the people would repent.
Instead of repenting, the religious leaders sought to kill Jeremiah. But the people actually rose up and refused to execute him. They reminded their leaders of the prophet Micah’s previous prophecies of judgement and how Hezekiah humbled himself before God’s word.
But then Jeremiah — or someone else — relates a story of how Jehoiakim did indeed kill a true prophet for saying about the same thing that Jeremiah did. But in Jeremiah’s case, Ahikam (son of Shaphan and father of Gedaliah the future governor) was on his side to protect him.