1. God’s anger

People don’t like it when the bible speaks about God’s anger. Richard Dawkins states: The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Jeremiah had a message for Judah’s final King (Zedekiah) in chapter 21. In this 22nd chapter there are messages for his three predecessors, Jehoahaz, Jehoiachim and Jehoiachin. King Josiah was the father of Zedekiah, Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim and the grand father of Jehoiachin. Josiah became king when he was just 8 years old and the bible describes him thus: ‘He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.’  What an excellent epitaph! Sadly his three sons and grandson all ‘did evil in the eyes of the Lord.’  The story of chapter 22 is the end of the line for these evil kings.

In order to get his message across, Jeremiah presented several ‘object lessons’ to the people of Judah; there was the linen belt in chapter 13, the potter’s house in chapter 18, the smashed pot in chapter 18 and now we have two baskets of figs!

  1. A Royal delegation

As we discovered in chapter 20, it seems that the fate of Jerusalem and Judah was now sealed. Avoidance of God’s judgment (to be brought through the Babylonians) was no longer possible.

Shepherds, prophets and a king

One of the most disturbing trends in our world today is a departure from truth. The decision makers and thought leaders in our country have largely accepted the atheistic evolutionary view of our world and mankind. There is remarkable faith exercised in the ‘god’ of atheism, a faith that is largely based on wishful thinking:

Jeremiah has demonstrated that Israel can by its own actions alter the course of God’s plans. Although they are like a pot that is spoiled on the potter’s wheel and headed for destruction, repentance can bring about a change. But Israel would not repent, and the pot is now hardened, complete and ready for judgment! It seems that when a nation becomes like Judah and turns its back on God that the people and the institutions of that nation begin to suppress expression of the truth.