I spoke To You In Your Prosperity

I spoke To You In Your Prosperity

Jer. 22:18-23

Jehoiakim was born in the Davidic line and was thus eligible to become king (as opposed to most of the rest of the people of Judah!). He had a godly father in King Josiah. He had access to God's word which could guide him on how to be a good king to God's people. He had the history of such good kings as David, Hezekiah, and of course his own father. He had the history of Solomon's request for wisdom instead of wealth. None of this seems to have influenced Jehoiakim.

God's judgment here seems really harsh when you first read it. God declares that no one will be sorry to see him die (22:18). He would be buried as one would bury a dead donkey - dump him outside the city gates. Surely a king over God's people would receive more respect than that! What did he do that was so evil?  Much.

He used all of the resources of the kingdom for his own pleasure.  "Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages, who says, ‘I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,’ who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion" (Jer. 22:13-14).  This was speaking directly to Jehoiakim for he had built himself a grand palace while his people were suffering from poverty. He required his subjects to work on the project without compensation.  His idea of 'being king' was SHOWING his power and rule OVER the people, much like Rehoboam. God had a different measuring rod for determining good kings: "Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him" (vs. 15).

Even worse, he REFUSED to listen to God adamantly saying: "I will not listen" (22:21). Thus he was disobedient to God from his youth until his death.

What brought such an attitude of selfishness and disrespect for God? Money - the root of all sorts of evil. Again we see in God's word the warning about materialism and its dangers.

  • The having of material goods can create an attitude of self-reliance and thus not acknowledging such comes from God.
  • Having such often just creates a desire to have more.
  • Having such often creates a heart that is hardened against those who DON'T have it and especially against those who stand in need of some of YOURS.
  • Trying to manage, keep, and increase such material wealth often leaves no time to think about or serve God.


Prov. 30:7-9:  "Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God."

1 Tim. 6:8-10:  "… if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs."

Matt. 6:24: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."