The Fruitless Prophet
Lesson 13 – Fall of Jerusalem
Jeremiah 34, 37-39
Date: 13 January 2021 – Jer20
Dates and chronology are based largely on Used by permission.
1.         Jeremiah warned King Zedekiah (34:1-7)
a.          Jerusalem will be captured and burned (34:2)
b.          Zedekiah will not die by the sword (34:4)
2.         Slaves liberated and enslaved again (34:8-22)
a.          The king wisely set all slaves at liberty (34:10)
b.          Afterward the princes and people changed their minds and re-enslaved their former slaves (34:11). This angered the Lord (34:15-17).
c.           Judgment will follow. These people will die and Zedekiah and his princes will be captured.
God longs for our obedience to His Word. We will never succeed if we disobey the clear commandments and principles of the Lord.
3.         Zedekiah fears and requests prayer (37:1-10)
a.          In his fear of being captured, Zedekiah asked Jeremiah to pray for him (37:3).
b.          Jeremiah warned that Babylon would not leave permanently out of fear of Egypt. The Babylonians would force the Egyptians back to Egypt (37:7-10).
Judah sought help from Egypt, but it was in vain. Judah needed repentance not reinforcements. God was working against them. O that we might remember this when we have done wrong.
4.         Jeremiah is accused of desertion (37:11-21)
a.          Once the Chaldeans had temporarily departed, Jeremiah planned a trip into Benjamin, probably to Anathoth his hometown. God does not tell us why (37:11-12). He was captured and accused of desertion (37:13).
b.          The princes put Jeremiah into prison where they locked him in a cabin or cell (37:15-16).
c.           King Zedekiah took Jeremiah out of prison and asked him for an update from the Lord (37:17).
d.          Jeremiah plead his case and was allowed to remain in the court of the prison (37:18-21).
God allowed Jeremiah to suffer for His cause, yet He limited the suffering and protected his life. God may do the same with us. If we are called to suffer for the Lord, we must remain true to Him.
5.         Jeremiah is cast into the dungeon (38:1-6)
a.          Jeremiah kept preaching and his enemies begged the king to put him to death (38:4).
b.          Weak King Zedekiah turned Jeremiah over to his enemies (38:5). They then put him in a dungeon full of mire (38:6).
6.         Ebedmelech rescued Jeremiah (38:7-13)
a.          Here we meet one of the great heroes of this book, Ebedmelech (38:7). He was a black eunuch slave in the king’s house who loved the Lord.
b.          He begged the king on behalf of Jeremiah. The king granted his request (38:9-10).
c.           Ebedmelech and 30 men rescued Jeremiah (38:11-13).
7.         Zedekiah secretly seeks Jeremiah’s counsel (38:14-28)
a.          Once again, King Zedekiah secretly asked Jeremiah for any word from the Lord (38:14). He promised not to harm Jeremiah (38:16).
b.          Jeremiah told him that if he surrendered he would live and Jerusalem would be spared (38:17).
c.           Zedekiah was terribly afraid (38:19).
d.          Again, Jeremiah begged not to be placed in prison (38:26).
Zedekiah feared the Lord enough to seek His word continually, though secretly, yet he refused to obey the Lord. Let us always trust the Lord and obey Him not just curiously seek Him. Partial obedience is disobedience.
8.         Zedekiah is captured, Jerusalem is destroyed (39:1-10)
a.          Jerusalem was broken up (39:2).
b.          Zedekiah tried to escape but soldiers captured him and took him up to Riblah (39:4-5).
c.           Nebuchadrezzar killed Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes and then put out his eyes, put him in chains and took him to Babylon (39:6-7).
d.          Nebuchadrezzar then destroyed Jerusalem totally (39:8).
The terrible end finally came just as Jeremiah had preached for over 40 years. Though God is longsuffering, He always does exactly as He promised. In the dark days in which we live, this should be a comfort to us.
9.         The fate of Jeremiah and Ebedmelech (39:11-18)
a.          Nebuchadrezzar set Jeremiah free and treated him well (39:11-12).
b.          God promised to deliver Ebedmelech because he placed his trust in the Lord (39:15-18).
God tenderly cared for both of these men because they had been faithful to Him when nearly everyone else had not. Read Revelation 2:10.