[SW387] 07/13/2019 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019
“Mocking His Messengers”
Text: 2Chronicles 36:11-21, etc.
Messengers sent by the Lord were frequently mocked and despised and scoffed at by His people, in both the Old and the New Testaments. It is the same today. As you will see in today’s passage, those who mock do so at their own peril, for His wrath is very great toward such ones!
Why? When His people mock His messengers, they mock Him. Yet He sent His messengers to His people because of His compassion for them!
Because they mock Him, He gives Satan permission to sift them (Luke 22:31, and the Book of Job). If they do not repent, he gives Satan permission to take them captive and drag them away into exile from His presence.
His purpose is that they will cry out and repent, after they have been battered for a while. But if they refuse to repent, and continue to mock those He sends, they will face His judgment, just as they did in the days of Isaiah, Jeremiah and the rest, and just as they do today, and just as they will at the end of things.
Mocking is common in today’s church. She is a silly dove without a heart (Hosea 7:11), who does not see that she mocks the Lord when she mocks His messengers whom He has compassionately sent to her!
In today’s scripture, I will show you the people of Judah, who were about to go into Babylonian exile because they mocked His messengers, refusing to repent and turn from their sin. May it be a warning to today’s church.
Verse 11 —
Zedekiah was the final king of Judah, before the Babylonian exile —
Jeremiah 37:1 Now Zedekiah the son of Josiah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had made king in the land of Judah, reigned as king in place of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. 2 But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.
Zedekiah refused to listen to Jeremiah, and thus, he refused to listen to the Lord. Therefore, when he was 32, Zedekiah was captured by the king of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar forced him to watch his children be brutally killed by the Babylonians (2Kings 25:7). Immediately after that, his eyes were gouged out, and he was taken into captivity. So, the last thing he saw with his eyes was the violent death of his children. And he was permanently blinded.
It was done to Zedekiah just as Ezekiel, another mocked prophet of the Lord, prophesied regarding him. The Lord said, through Ezekiel —
Ezekiel 12:13 “I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there.
Zedekiah would not see it, because his eyes would be gouged out by the Babylonian army. I tell you the truth, had he repented, the Lord would have delivered him. But he was determined to follow the ways of the world, to worship what it worships. So he was blinded. O church, if you do not repent, the Lord will allow Satan to permanently blind you!
Verse 12 —
Why did this happen to Zedekiah? He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. What evil did Zedekiah do? He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. He did not bow down to and obey the words the Lord spoke through Jeremiah.
Instead of heeding the Lord’s words through Jeremiah, he listened to false prophets who told him pleasant things. He worshiped the gods of the land, and shed innocent blood by offering children in the fire, to appease the anger of the false gods.
He listened to false prophets who gave him only good news, and who did not know the Lord at all (Jeremiah 27:9). He refused to listen to the exhortations of Jeremiah and of Ezekiel, though prophets of the Lord were higher in rank than kings.
Verse 13 —
He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzer, who had made him swear by God that Judah would ally itself with Babylon. So, he broke his oath that he made in the Lord’s name. Zedekiah willfully and purposefully stiffened his neck — he did not bend to the Lord’s will — and hardened his heart against the LORD God of Israel.
Verse 14 —
But Zedekiah was not the only one at fault. All the officials who were priests and all the people were very unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations. They worshiped what the world worshiped. They worshiped falsehood, instead of worshiping the Lord.
They defiled the house of the Lord, the temple, which He had sanctified in Jerusalem. How? By bringing their false gods into the temple, the Lord’s house, and setting up altars to them. O church, there are many false gods among you! Even the god of self, which is at the root of all false gods, is worshiped by you and reigns in you. And you seek pastors who will placate that false god with words about how the Lord wants to bless you, but nary a word that you must repent and turn away from your sin!
Verses 15-16 —
The Lord sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion (pity) on His people and His dwelling place. Jeremiah says —
Jeremiah 25:3 “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. 4 “And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear . . .
The Lord says, through Jeremiah —
Jeremiah 26:5 “If you will not listen to Me . . . to listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened . . .”
And the Lord declares —
Jeremiah 29:18 “I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse and a horror and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they have not listened to My words,’ declares the LORD, ‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,” declares the LORD.
And the Lord says —
Jeremiah 32:33 “They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive
Judah, and today’s church, have mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets. Therefore, the wrath of the Lord has risen, and there was then and is now no remedy for her. There is no healing, there is no deliverance by the Lord, for He spoke and continues to speak to His people
again and again, but they still refuse to listen.
Already today’s church is ransacked. Already, there is a famine for the word of God (Amos 8:11)! Already the disease of sin runs rampant throughout her ranks! Already, she is powerless! Already she is a laughingstock! Already she is mocked!
She receives what she has done to the Lord. She has mocked His messengers whom He has sent to exhort her to repent, and warn them of the consequences of her sin. Therefore, the world mocks her.
Verses 17-19 —
What were the consequences of the sin of Judah, and what are the consequences of the sin of today’s believers in today’s church?
The Lord lets their enemy have at them and destroy everything natural thing they treasure and rely upon. In Judah, their enemy even destroyed the strength of their young men, slaying them with the sword in the temple!
And Satan has destroyed the strength of many of today’s sin-filled churches, for they worship the god of self and the wisdom and ways of the world. Lord, may they see their folly!
All the articles of the temple were carried off to Babylon, for they were made of precious metals — gold and silver and bronze. All of the church’s treasures will be carried off, for she has refused to repent.
But the remnant of believers who have remained faithful will yet find favor, whatever happens to the church at large. It was the same for Daniel, for Jeremiah and other mocked prophets of the Lord.
Both man and virgin, old man or infirm, were destroyed, in Judah. All were given into their enemy’s hands. None were shown mercy.
Every false god they trusted in failed them. The world’s wisdom, ways and culture, which they trusted in failed them. The god of self, whom false teachers had taught them to worship, failed them.
It will be the same for today’s believers in today’s church, unless they repent and cry out for the Lord to change their hearts by filling them with His Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26)!
Judah thought that because the temple was in Jerusalem, it would not be destroyed by their enemy. But the Lord allowed the Babylonians to completely overrun and burn and destroy both Jerusalem and the temple in which they trusted.
The Lord exhorted them, through Jeremiah —
Jeremiah 7:3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 “Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’”
The church deceives herself, thinking that because she says she belongs to Jesus Christ, she will not be destroyed by Satan. Yet like Judah, she mocks and despises those whom He sends to her. O church, amend your ways and your deeds!
She does not see that Satan has already had his way with her, and she is barely a shadow of the church when it began, in the Book of Acts! She says sin is no longer sin. Woe to her, for she calls evil good and good evil (see Isaiah 5:20). I tell you the truth, Satan rubs his hands with glee!
After looting the temple, Babylon burned it and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, leaving the city in ruins. All of its strong buildings were burned with fire. All of its valuable articles were destroyed.
The church has been looted! The church is burning! Her walls are broken down. All she trusts in is being burned with fire! All she held dear is being destroyed! Yet she does not see that she is on fire (Isaiah 42:25), and pays no attention.
Verses 20-21 —
Those who escaped the sword were captured and carried away into Babylon, to serve Nebuchadnezzar and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia — 70 years of exile! It happened to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths (Leviticus 25:3-4), and was not worked by Judah —
All the days of its desolation, it (the land) kept its sabbath (it rested) until 70 years were complete, as the Lord said, through Jeremiah —
Jeremiah 25:11 ‘This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
After the 70 years, Daniel read that it was time for the Lord to bring the people back to the land. So he prayed a prayer of repentance (see Daniel 9). Then, Cyrus, King of Persia (for Persia had overrun Babylon), issued a decree that they could return (2Chronicles 36:22-23). Though the number who returned was small, they rebuilt the wall and the temple.
But by the time Jesus Christ came, they worshiped the Law and not the Lord. So they did not recognize God the Son when He came. They rejected Him because He did not fit their idea of what their Messiah should be. All of Jesus’ words offended them and enraged them. In the same way, today’s believers in today’s churches have fashioned Him into their own image.
Should anyone come and speak the truth to them, they are offended and become enraged. I testify of it, from my own experience. I tell you the truth, the Jesus of the Bible is rejected in many churches. They have morphed Him into a totally human, confused, unsure man who had to come to the earth to see what it was like to be us.
What? He created us. He already knew what was in man. He knew what was in the heart of man, beloved. He needed no one to tell him —
John 2:24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.
O foolish believer, O silly dove with no heart! He knows the darkness that is within you. Therefore, He says, Repent!
Lord Jesus, I have delivered this as You have commanded. May Your people stop mocking and scoffing at those you send them, and stop despising Your words. May they turn back to you and away from the god of self. Amen.