We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 21:1 "The word which came
unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur
the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest,

     This is a different Pashur from the one in the last lesson.
Zephaniah was from the priestly family of Maaseiah, and was next in
line to the high priest. Notice, again, these messages Jeremiah is
speaking is actually God's messages in Jeremiah's mouth. Zedekiah was
king before Jehoiachin.

     Jeremiah 21:2 "Inquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that
the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that
he may go up from us."

     In answer to the message from Jeremiah, they ask him to intercede
for them before the LORD. They believe that God will fight for them,
and turn Nebuchadnezzar back. They know God has helped them
miraculously before, and they expect Him to do that now. God will not
help them, because of their worship of false gods.

     Jeremiah 21:3  "Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say
to Zedekiah:"

     It appears, that the priest had talked with Jeremiah, and now
Jeremiah is giving them a message to take back to the king.

     Jeremiah 21:4 "Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will
turn back the weapons of war that [are] in your hands, wherewith ye
fight against the king of Babylon, and [against] the Chaldeans, which
besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst
of this city."

     This is such a hard message for Jeremiah to give to the priest
for the king. Not only will God not help them, but he will make the
weapons in their hands useless. God will let the Chaldeans and the
Babylonians overrun them, and gather in the midst of the city.

     Jeremiah 21:5 "And I myself will fight against you with an
outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury,
and in great wrath."

     The worst part of all is that God will fight against them
Himself. His fury has come up in His face for their worship of false
gods. The wrath of God is reserved for those who have been unfaithful
to Him.

     Jeremiah 21:6 "And I will smite the inhabitants of this city,
both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence."

     It is not just the war that kills them. God has brought this
terrible siege on them, because of their unfaithfulness to Him.  There
was famine and pestilence, as well as the war.

     Jeremiah 21:7 "And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver
Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as
are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from
the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into
the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their
life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not
spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy."

     We found in the last lesson, that the famine was so great in the
land, that people ate their own children. This pestilence is just as
great as that, also. Then the king of Babylon came into the land and
killed and pillaged. The few people that survived all of this went
into captivity in Babylon. God's mercy is turned away from this stiff-
necked people.  He offered them every chance to repent, and they did
not. Now His wrath is poured out on them.

     Jeremiah 21:8  "And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith
the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of

     They had been taught that to obey God, brought blessings
abundant, but to disobey God, brought curses. It was their choice, and
they made it. The way of God leads to life. They way of false gods
leads to death. They had made their choice.

     Jeremiah 21:9 "He that abideth in this city shall die by the
sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth
out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and
his life shall be unto him for a prey."

     There is still time for them to flee, and live as fugitives. If
they stay, it means certain death, or captivity.

     Jeremiah 21:10 "For I have set my face against this city for
evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the
hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire."

     It is not enough that the city will be overthrown. It will be
burned, as well. God wants to wipe out the memory of the evil that
went on here. The king of Babylon was the destroyer, but the judgement
came from God.

     Jeremiah 21:11  "And touching the house of the king of Judah,
[say], Hear ye the word of the LORD;"

     The city of Jerusalem was of the house of Benjamin. Now, this
message extends to the house of Judah.

     Jeremiah 21:12 "O house of David, thus saith the LORD; Execute
judgment in the morning, and deliver [him that is] spoiled out of the
hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that
none can quench [it], because of the evil of your doings."

     David was beloved of God. God had tolerated more from Judah than
He would have others, because they were in the lineage of David. He
loved them, but He would no longer look the other way. Judgement had
come to the house of Judah, because of their worship of false gods.

     Jeremiah 21:13 "Behold, I [am] against thee, O inhabitant of the
valley, [and] rock of the plain, saith the LORD; which say, Who shall
come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?"

     They were self-satisfied. They felt no harm would come to them,
because they were descendents of David. God sends this message by
Jeremiah to let them know, that even His chosen family cannot sin and
get away with it. They have been judged of God. They can hide, if they
wish, but God will find them.

     Jeremiah 21:14 "But I will punish you according to the fruit of
your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest
thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it."

     They will be punished for the things they have done, and nothing
else. God will try each person's doings with fire. The earthly things
will burn up in the fire, as wood does.

                         Jeremiah 22 Questions

1.  Who was king in verse 1?
2.  Who was priest?
3.  Is this the same Pashur as in the last lesson?
4.  Who was next in line to the high priest?
5.  Who was king of Babylon?
6.  What did they ask Jeremiah to do for them?
7.  Why will God not help them?
8.  What will God do to their weapons?
9.  Who were the others against them, besides Babylon?
10. How will God fight against them?
11. Why had God's fury come up in His face?
12. What other thing would they die from, besides the sword?
13. What happens to those of them who are not killed?
14. How bad was the famine?
15. In verse 8, God had set before them the way of ______, and the way
    of ________.
16. Who chose which road they took?
17. If they get away, how will they have to live?
18. After the battle, what will the king do with the city?
19. The city of Jerusalem was of the house of ___________.
20. Who is verse 12 addressed to?
21. David was __________ of God.
22. They were _________________.
23. Why did they believe no harm would come to them?
24. What will God punish them according to?