Read: Jeremiah 22:1-23:20, 2Thessalonians 1:1-12, Psalm 83:1-18, Proverbs 25:11-14
Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss. Instead, weep for the captive king being led away. (Jeremiah 22:10)
Relate: The King is dead. Long live the King. These words have been a traditional part of the ascension ceremony in England, France, and Denmark for hundreds of years. They are used over and over in literature and even Shakespeare in Hamlet alludes to it. The phrase is at once a mourning over the death of the former king and a rejoicing over the ascension of the new king. It is weeping for what has gone and rejoicing over what is coming. But God tells Jeremiah to do the opposite.
Josiah was the last godly king of Judah. In a few short years, three of his sons and one grandson will all hold the throne. Three are carried off into exile and one will die prematurely. The country will be dominated by Egypt, then Babylon and ultimately will fall, never to be a significant political player again. Most importantly, both the kings and the people left all semblance of godliness behind them. God is telling Jeremiah at the crux of this change, don’t mourn (in sorrow) over what has happened and cannot be undone, mourn (in intercession) for a king literally (and spiritually) being led away.
React: I don’t know how to say what I want to say without sounding political. It is not my intention to get political but as I sit here staring at the screen in front of me I’ve written and rewritten this portion in my head and it just does not seem to want to come out right. I look out and it feels like I’m looking at Josiah’s four successors. No matter which one sits on the throne, its not the right one. No matter which one wears the crown, things do not look good. No matter which man takes office come November, we are a people being led away. One group votes their wallet, another group votes their pet issues. No matter which group wins, the fact is we will have a man in office who is a slave to these constituents and who is being led away (and leading us away) from true godliness and good governance. I don’t know how else to say it… so there it is.
Respond: Take a moment and weep and pray for our nation and its leaders. Pray that no matter who takes office they would find the true freedom that only comes through Christ and that they would lead us in godliness rather than be led away by the latest polls or by their political base.