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This Chapter refers to a period in the reign of Zedekiah. The King felt alarmed at the prospect of the king of Babylon's army, and sends to enquire of Jeremiah concerning the event. The Prophet sends back a heavy answer of evil tidings.
It should seem from the parallel history of Zedekiah, 2 Chronicles 36:11-12 . that there was no sincerity in this enquiry: and what good could therefore be expected from it. Alas! how is it that men draw nigh to God with their mouth, and honour him with their lips, while their hearts are far from him?
The Lord's answer by the Prophet is such as one might expect, most alarming and awful! Reader! how blessed is it to know the Lord, in order to a proper confidence in him. Sweet is that promise to this amount, Isaiah 32:1-2 .
As with the priest, so with the people was the prediction of the prophet; see Isaiah 24:1-3 . And what an awful state is that nation in, where corruption is universal?
It was the glory of Jerusalem, and for which the Prophet boasted, that she should be a quiet habitation, whose tabernacle should not be taken down, nor one of her stakes removed. But this was because her glorious Lord would be unto her a place of broad rivers and streams; so that no enemy could approach while her Lord was in the midst of his Zion for a defense. Isaiah 33:20-22 . But if the Lord withdraws: if the Lord give her up, who can protect her! Reader! see to it, that Jesus is your glory, and he will be for a defense. Isaiah 8:12-14 .
READER! let you and I learn from the perusal of this Chapter; how needful it must be in times of trouble to have first learnt, and to have known the Lord in times of safety. What a sad state was Zedekiah and his army in when the King of Babylon's army made war against them. But what a more awful and tremendous state is that man in, when death draweth near, and the Lord is departed from him! Oh! Reader! think, and let the thought never be parted with, until grace hath followed it up to the means of safety in Christ! how truly overwhelmed with sorrow must every man be in by nature, whose conscience then condemns, and there is no whisper of Jesus to speak peace? There is no discharge in that war!
Lamb of God! oh by every endearing name let me adjure thee to be thyself the safety to all thy redeemed, in thy blood and righteousness! Lord! when a more formidable foe, than even the Chaldean army, comes up upon this people, and there is no way in man to escape; do thou take up our person and our cause, and deliver for thy name's sake, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies! Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 21". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16