ON POLITICIANS AND PREACHERS!
INTRODUCTION: It was Paul Harvey who said, “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.” When one ponders and studies the conditions of politics and preaching today that one needs to be reminded that the same thing existed in Jeremiah’s day. The “weeping prophet” had something to say to both groups.
I. A MESSAGE TO THE POLITICIAN
Things were chaotic in Jeremiah’s day and much of it was caused by leadership.
A. A Picture of a Politician Jeremiah ministered during the reign of five administrations. Let’s take a brief look and see what we can learn.
1. Josiah – The Consecrated Politician (22:15-16)
Also see 2 Kings 23:25. He stood with integrity. He reigned 13 years. He repaired the house of God. He rediscovered the word of God. He led the people in repentance toward God. What a good king.
2. Jehoahaz – The Calloused Politician (22:11)
He was also known as Shallum. He came to the throne at age 23 and reigned for three months. See 2 Kings 23:31. The people estimated him wrongly.
3. Jehoiakim – The Contemptible Politician (22:18)
He was enthroned at age 25 and reigned for 11 years. He was known for his tattoos,
taxing and treachery – see Jeremiah 36. He took a penknife and cut up the word of God. How many modern day politicians have either ignored or shredded the word of God?
4. Jehoiakin – The Corrupt Politician (22:24)
He came at age 18 and reigned for 3 months and 10 days. He, too, did evil in the eyes of
the Lord. See the pattern? He was a habitual rebel. He so displease the Lord he was described as “a despised broken pot.” That means he was useless and worthless.
5. Zedekiah – The Calculating Politician (21:1)
He arrived at age 21 and reigned for 11 years. He, too, did evil in the eyes of the Lord –
see 2 Kings 24:19. Look at Jer. 37:1. A crisis arose and he called for the true prophet. He wanted Jeremiah to use God to serve the ends of the state. Jeremiah gave him God’s word but he was too afraid to act upon it. Why? – see 38:19. Many politicians today are more concerned about public opinion than divine approval.
Four out of the five were condemned. Think not for one moment that God will not hold
politicians accountable for the decisions they make. Much of the confusion, corruption and chaos can be traced directly back to the leaders of the day!
B. The Prescription for a Politician See 21:11; 22:1-5. What is our responsibility toward the politician? – see Rom. 13:1-6. Also see I Tim. 2:1-2. A wise choice at the ballot box and a strong determination in the prayer closet will do wonders.
II. A MESSAGE TO THE PREACHER
If you think Jeremiah was tough on politicians listen to what he had to say to the
preachers of his day. Jeremiah lived in a day where much of the preaching was poor, pointless and powerless. Look at 23:9, 15.
A. The Description
1. Their Course (v.10, 12)
2. Their Conduct (v.11, 14)
3. Their Conversation (v.13)
B.The Demand See v. 22, 28-29. Jeremiah was emotionally disturbed, mentally agitated and deeply distraught.
C. The Discernment How can one discern between the true and false prophet? Pay attention to their:
1. Sanctification. This calls for a high moral standard.
2. Motivation. Here is one who is lead by the Holy Spirit. He has no desire for position, power or prestige. His sole aim is to glorify God.
3. Revelation. These preached delusional dreams and rank heresy. They opined their own opinion and stole other’s sermons. Paul told Timothy “Preach the word!”
III. A MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE
A. Carefully elect every politician
B. Properly evaluate every pulpit
CONCLUSION: Unless our politics are cleaned-up and our pulpits are fired-up this land will continue in desperate peril. As in Jeremiah’s day so it is in our day – much of the confusion, corruption and chaos can be traced back to two people – The Politician and The Preacher. Let us take heed.