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Jeremiah 23

Talks for Growing Christians

The Branch of Righteousness

Jeremiah 23

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Lesson Number 21

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God revealed the character and mission of the righteous Branch.
  2. God revealed the character and message of the false prophets.

Practical Application

  1. Let everything be tested by the Word of God!

Questions

  1. The shepherds in verse 1 “who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture,” most likely refer to four royal characters found in chapters 21 and 22. Can you name them?
  2. The vivid description of the coming Branch of righteousness (The Lord Our Righteousness) leaves no doubt that this coming king would be _____ Himself.
  3. Has the prophecy that the Lord will gather the remnant and bring them back to their folds (verse 3) been completely fulfilled?
  4. The false prophets were denounced for misleading the people into the false hope that there would be _________, even when the judgment of the Lord was about to fall on them.
  5. The proof that the men in verse 21 were indeed false prophets was the fact that they did not turn the people from their _______ _______.

Answers

  1. The bad shepherds of verse 1 were most likely the four wicked kings of chapters 21 and 22; Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.
  2. The coming king would be God Himself. One of God’s names is “The Lord Our Righteousness.”
  3. No. The present return of the Jews to Israel today we believe is part of the fulfillment of this prophecy, but there will be more to come. Refer to the “discuss / consider” section below.
  4. The false prophets were promising peace (verse 17) in the midst of coming judgment.
  5. The false prophets did not turn the people from their evil ways (verse 22).

Discuss/Consider

  1. The Jews’ return from their 70 year captivity in Babylon was a foretaste of what is to come in the future. But since Scripture says that the people will be gathered out of “all countries” (verse 3), it clearly indicates that the gathering would include much more. It will include the return of the Jews to Israel, “their own land” (verse 8) in our day too. However, this prophecy will be literally and completely fulfilled when the righteous Branch of David, the Lord Himself, returns to establish His earthly kingdom Jeremiah did not understand this prophecy to be fulfilled today in the church in a spiritual way. Nor was this what he intended to teach the people. Nor was this how the people understood him. Jeremiah said that Israel and Judah would return to live on their own soil, the very land of Israel.

Challenge

  1. Have you ever been led away from the truth of God’s Word by a dream or vision of your own, or by similar experiences claimed by others? Verses 28 and 29 in this chapter clearly point out to us that all claims and experiences, even those of other believers, must be tested by the Word of God.

Key Verses

  • “Is not My word like a fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29

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