JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 34 - BROKEN COVENANTS
JEREMIAH – CHAPTER 34
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
August 24, 2021, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
After coming to the close of studying chapter 34, I am convinced that what is going on in Afghanistan is God’s judgment on Joe Biden. I could place Joe Biden’s name instead of King Zedekiah and the Taliban instead of the Babylonian army.
Chapters 34-37 are all about covenant.
Therefore, we will back up to Jeremiah 33 which ended with the unbreakable covenant known as The Great Davidic Prophecy. The promises are about Jesus and the priesthood of the Sons of Zadok. The covenant for both was clearly shown to be sealed throughout history and especially visible in the end times.
Jer. 33: 19-22: The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, Thus, says the LORD: If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.
Verse 22 is clearly understood by Christians that the descendants of David, called My servant, are to be found in followers of, and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus (the righteous ruler). In the same verse specific reference is made to “the Levites who minister to Me.” Last week, I applied that to the Melchizedek Priesthood which is also fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
“Zadok (Tsaddiq) is the same root word as is found in Melchizedek. One who is just, righteous, blameless, innocent, one in the right, ones who are in the right, righteous man, honest, justice, merits, etc. Melchizedek means “king of righteousness.” The sons of Zadok possess what Melchizedek possesses. Jesus was made a High priest after the Order of Melchizedek in the book of Hebrews. In Genesis, He is described as the King of Salem (or peace, or King of Jerusalem, which I believe is the heavenly Jerusalem).
Zadok people are not strange people. They are just not “system people.” We are not our own. The Lord Jesus has complete directional and veto power in our lives. We are not perfect, but we are moving to that time in our lives when the slightest wind of change in the Spirit is perceived and acted upon. Pleasing our Lord Jesus is the more important criteria for any act of action in our lives” (Dr. C. R. Oliver, Sons of Zadok).
(Ezekiel 44 separated “These” Zadok Levites from the others.) Jesus and the Sons of Zadok’s combined ministries are to be multiplied supernaturally through history under the oversight of God.
In verse 23, the LORD attacked the negative comments and lack of faith displayed by the nation of Judah regarding their plight in facing captivity.
33:23: More-over the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah saying, have you not considered what these people have spoken saying, the two families which the LORD has chosen, He has also cast them off? Thus, they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them.
“These people” though resident of Jerusalem, were not the chosen people of promise. “My people” were differentiated from “these people” who were commenting. God said in 31:31, He would make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. This covenant would be a “heart” covenant, where He would write His words on their inner man. Law and genealogy would diminish in consideration. We can understand why God was upset when “these people” degraded and despised “those” people.
God made eight covenants in the Word. Covenant number eight is the covenant of Jesus through His Blood. I have a teaching on the Seven Covenants, but I didn’t include that Adam received two covenants. The initial one setting out his dominion and the other setting forth the coming Messiah.
2. Noahic Covenant. This general covenant was made between God and Noah following the departure of Noah, his family, and the animals from the ark. Found in Genesis 9:11, "I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." This covenant included a sign of God's faithfulness to keep it—the rainbow.
3. Abrahamic Covenant. This unconditional covenant first made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, promised God's blessing upon Abraham, to make his name great and to make his progeny into a great nation. The covenant also promised to bless to those who blessed Abraham and cursing to those who cursed him. Further, God vowed to bless the entire world through Abraham's seed. Circumcision was the sign that Abraham believed the covenant (Romans 4:11). The fulfillment of this covenant is seen in the history of Abraham's descendants and in the creation of the nation of Israel. The worldwide blessing came through Jesus Christ, who was of Abraham's family line, the seed of Isaac.
4. Palestinian Covenant. This unconditional covenant, found in Deuteronomy 30:1-10, noted God's promise to scatter Israel if they disobeyed God, then to restore them at a later time to their land. This covenant has been fulfilled twice, with the Babylonian Captivity and subsequent rebuilding of Jerusalem under Cyrus the Great; and with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, followed by the reinstatement of the nation of Israel in 1948.
5. Mosaic Covenant. This conditional covenant, found in Deuteronomy 11 and elsewhere, promised the Israelites a blessing for obedience and a curse for disobedience. Much of the Old Testament chronicles the fulfillment of the cycles of judgment for sin and later blessing when God's people repented and returned to God.
6. Davidic Covenant. This unconditional covenant, found in 2 Samuel 7:8-16, promised to bless David's family line and assured an everlasting kingdom. Jesus is from the family line of David (Luke 1:32-33) and, as the Son of David (Mark 10:47), is the fulfillment of this covenant.
7. New Covenant. This covenant, found in Jeremiah 31:31-34, promised that God would forgive sin and have a close, unbroken relationship with His people. The promise was first made to Israel and then extended to everyone who comes to Jesus Christ in faith (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 8: 8-10; 9:15).
This eighth covenant or No. 7 above is symbolic of restoration and regeneration. This is the covenant in Jeremiah 31: 31-34. Covenant number 7 is the covenant of Jesus through His Blood.
Chapter 34 begins with the Covenant Breakers. The Babylonian onslaught continues in full force. Despite the severity of the pronouncement, there is still some hope for Zedekiah. However, in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles records do not show mourning for him. His death is not even mentioned, only the horrific events surrounding his capture.
1. God gave His Word to Zedekiah that he would not be killed with the sword, but die of natural causes and be mourned with full honor as a Davidic ruler.
2. God made a covenant with “the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who presumptuously passed between the parts of the calf, that they would perish.
God reminded the people of Judah they had made a covenant with Him and it was taken seriously by Him. The Judahites regarded it lightly. Because of breaking that covenant, God would eventually make a more specific covenant with them, which would not be broken.
In the first case, Zedekiah was told basically to surrender and not resist the affront of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Needless bloodshed would incur if defensive moves were made.
It was God who initiated these offensive actions.
Jeremiah 34: 1-5: The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army, all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem and all its cities, saying, Thus, says the LORD, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, Thus, says the LORD: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. You shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand; your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon. He shall speak with you face to face, and you shall go to Babylon. Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the LORD concerning you: “you shall not die by the sword. You shall die in peace, as in the ceremonies of your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so they shall burn incense for you and lament for you, saying, “Alas, lord!” For I have pronounced the word, says the LORD.
The Lord is making Zedekiah responsible for the actions of Nebuchadnezzar. God’s Divine Providence was in action. The Lord is offering Zedekiah the privilege of the promise he made to David. What God did not say was he would visibly witness the slaying of his two sons and then have his eyes put out. Thanks to Jeremiah, Zedekiah’s two daughters escaped this horror.
The LORD now turns to address the court of Zedekiah and those in charge of the administration, economy, religious affairs, and other areas of leadership. With them, God covenanted death. Why? They broke their covenant with God.
The Lord gave Zedekiah the plan to surrender in dignity. I feel like what is going on in Afghanistan was written out in Zedekiah’s evacuation plan of Jerusalem. Zedekiah did not follow God’s instructions.
Previously, King Zedekiah had entered into a covenant with his leadership, to free all of the people. In the wake of impending battle, Zedekiah was told all slaves were to receive their freedom.
34:8-16: This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem to proclaim liberty to them: every man should set free his male and female slave---a Hebrew man or woman---that no one should keep a Jewish brother in bondage. Now when all the princes and all the people; who had entered into the covenant heard that everyone should set free his male and female slaves, that no one should keep them in bondage anymore, they obeyed and let them go. But afterward, they changed their minds and made the male and female slaves return, whom they had set free, and brought them into subjection as male and female slaves. Therefore, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus, says the LORD, the God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage saying, At the end of seven years let every man set free his Hebrew brother, who has been sold to him; and when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you. But your fathers did not obey Me nor incline their ear. Then you turned around and profaned My name, and every one of you brought back his male and female slaves, whom you had set at liberty, at their pleasure, and brought them back into subjection, to be your male and female slaves.
It is a serious business to make a vow to God. Thousands have been in a crisis and promised God all kinds of things. Some of those vows were carried out to the letter but later negated by further actions which showed their true heart. Vow breaking gets the attention of the LORD every time. It is a serious matter to fall into the hands of an angry God. Politicians and governments have made pledges by the hundreds with no intention of keeping them and no thought as to their content.
Both the contemporary generation and their forefathers turned their backs and refused to listen to God.
It is right that we the church should decree and declare God’s judgments into the atmosphere just as Jeremiah was instructed to do.
34:17: Therefor thus says the LORD: You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and everyone to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim liberty to you, says the LORD---to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine! I will deliver you to trouble among the kingdoms of the earth.
In the first line up of trouble are the three horsemen of judgment (Famine Pestilence and Sword). Couple with them is another significant promise, “I will deliver you to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth.” Wow!
At the direct command of God, they were to be delivered into the hands of their enemies and the city of Jerusalem would be desecrated and burned with fire.
“Why do nations and religious citizenry today believe they are exempt from such treatment? Why do “Woke” people and “progressives” take an “airhead” approach to broken covenants, which lie scattered around the doorsteps of houses and churches while they “just feel” that God wouldn’t do this to them? These same individuals abandon the Word and proclaim, “God would never do such a thing, after all this is the work of the devil.” Having tasted of the good Word and turning away carries a special covenant of its own (Heb. 6:6) (Dr. C. R. Oliver).
34:18-19: I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it---the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf---
Every person of Israel who were in servitude were to be released from their obligations and/or debt and given their freedom. The leadership agreed and freed their servants. When the crisis seemed to have passed, they reneged on their promise and took back every man and woman they had freed, even though they had sword through a religious ritual invoking God, (They walked through the halves and thereby brought Abraham into their equation by doing the covenant outlined in Genesis 15.) The Lord was angry.
In Genesis 15: 7-21, the LORD passed between the pieces. He was making an unconditional covenant with Abram and his seed. Here, however, the people pass between the pieces, since they are initiating a covenant with LORD. Thus, God says that he will do to his unfaithful people what they did to the butchered calf---a gruesome fate indeed. How flippantly they entered into and then broke a covenant with the LORD himself, hardly taking seriously the fact that they made this agreement in the temple using God’s name and invoking curses on themselves.by passing between the pieces. There is obviously no fear of God in them at all.
Yahweh told them bluntly. “I am creating a covenant which will not be broken. It will involve every person who has made a vow and broken it.
Jer. 34: 20-22: I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies shall be meat for the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the earth. I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army which has gone back from you. Behold, I will command says the LORD, and cause them to return to this city. They will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.
Where are the fire and brimstone preachers? If it is not now time to preach a fiery gospel, when will it be time? The people are perishing for the lack of knowledge. They will keep believing the lie that they can keep on having one foot in the church and one foot in Hell and be saved from the wrath that is now upon us. There have been at least two drive-by shootings in Houston, Texas this past weekend. There are hundreds of killings in other cities. Preachers if you were called to preach, if not now, When?
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from NKJV; I entered into the labors of Dr. C. R. Oliver, The Road to Captivity and Sons of Zadok. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Dr. C. R. Oliver.