Jeremiah 23 Commentary

Jeremiah 23 Commentary

By ‘shepherds’ the LORD is probably referring to the many kings of Judah’s closing years. They failed the LORD; they failed the people.

The LORD would provide another set of good shepherds; another leadership team. We have more details about this grand plan. It all boils down to the righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely.

“He will be called: The LORD, Our Righteous Savior.” This is no other than Isaiah’s Branch, Immanuel – the Son born to us with the government on His shoulders. He is also Isaiah’s Servant who is punished because of sinfulness – the sin that he takes upon himself from you and me.

But Jeremiah’s context remains confined within the walls of kingship or leadership in view of the many failings of David’s sons. But there is more. Under this new leader, Israel would experience a Moses-like exodus.

There is always a world out there from which the saint must come out. The saint must forget the soup, the onions, and the pots of meat; the cucumbers and melons, and the leeks. Numbers 11 verse 5.

Chapter 23 contains one of the universal declarations about the nature and character of our living God. “Am I only a God nearby and not a God far away? Do not I fill heaven and earth?” The LORD God is this big! How dare you miss His approach! How dare you misrepresent Him?

We can see two worlds here. The first consists of self-proclaimed practicing ‘paganists’. They prophesy by the no-god Baal. It is open defiance. You pity their ignorance. The second world consists of religionists who commit adultery and tell lies in the place of worship. You hate their pretense.

The term adultery may imply an actual act, sadly. But importantly, it refers to a man’s want of holding two ‘loves’ at the same time. “I love God, but I also love the world – satan”

They claim the word of the LORD and feel at peace within themselves that all is well – in their sinfulness. They preach peace. They preach unity. They preach prosperity. Let good times come; they import Egypt into the place of worship. Let’s have it here exactly like we had it back in Egypt. They haven’t left Egypt at all.

The LORD is aware of these ‘misrepresentations’. He will act.

The saint must know. Not every statement with Jesus in it is heavenly. Know them by their fruit. They lie, commit adultery, and are stubborn selfish individuals – out there to promote self-indulgence. The LORD is aware and will punish them.

“Cast you out of my presence”: May remind the saint of Adam’s exit from the Garden of peace and tranquility – Eden. Out of the presence of God, alone and lonely; let every man know they can choose life and not banishment.

And just how important are the times we are living in, times when the King reigns, wisely. Then you know you have an important opening back to the LORD!

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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