Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Greedy Ornery King

By Mary Vee
Jeremiah 22

From the Journals of Jeremiah

Photo Courtesy
Josiah died. His son Shallum was crowned king, although he should never have been king.

As Josiah's oldest son, Shallum accepted the crown to rule over Judah when his father died. 

Shallum didn't want to please anyone but himself. 

Before many days passed after his father's death, Shallum ordered a new palace to be built just for him. He taxed the people to pay for the supplies. After taxing them, he forced the people to build the palace and didn't pay them any money for their work. None at all.

Shallum bragged to everyone about the huge palace being built just for him. There would be huge rooms, large windows, panels made of cedar, and the walls painted red. 

He walked around with his nose in the air. Shallum the rich and powerful king of Judah.

Really he should be called Shallum the wicked and ornery king of Judah.

Josiah never asked for riches. Instead he gave to the people. He got rid of all the idols and taught the people to worship the God of the Universe. The one who made us and loves us. Josiah did what was right and just. During Josiah's reign everything went well in Judah. This was their reward from God.

Josiah did everything he could to help the poor and needy. God said, "Isn't that what knowing me means?" Yes. Of course it is. 

But Shallum, greedy, ornery Shallum worked to get whatever he wanted even if he hurt people, stole from people, and threatened to kill people.

Yes, Shallum may have been rich with things, but his father, Josiah was rich with blessings from God, including peace and protection for the whole country.

Pharaoh Neco, attacked from Egypt and took Shallum as a prisoner. Shallum never returned to Judah. He died in Egypt, never seeing his beautiful palace again.

1. Who was Josiah's oldest son?
2. What did his son do as soon as he became king?
3. How did he pay for it?
4. Who did the work? How much were they paid?
5. How was Josiah different from his son?
6. What happened to Shallum?
7. Did he ever come home? Why?

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