Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Jeremiah: King Eliakim Wouldn't Listen to God

By Mary Vee
Jeremiah 26

From the Journals of Jeremiah

Photo Courtesy
King Eliakim was Josiah's second son. The first son had been captured by Egypt's pharaoh, this made Eliakim the new king. 

King Eliakim's officials stood at the temple yelling at the priests.

The priests yelled at the officials. 

What were they yelling about? Me. 

I had spoken God's message in the temple to all the people, like He told me to. It was a warning to the people to say they were sorry for the bad things they've done. The priests didn't like hearing what I said because they wanted to be in control, but the officials saw nothing wrong with it.

A group of elders walked up the steps and stood between the officials and the priests.  The leader of the elders turned to face the crowds and said, "Micah prophesied in the days of King Hezekiah. He told all the people of Judah this message from God: your land will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill will become overgrown with thickets. Did Hezekiah or anyone else in Judah put that prophet to death? No. Instead Hezekiah feared the Lord and did what God said. Did God still carry out the punishment? No, He didn't. He forgave our people.

"If we don't listen to Jeremiah we will bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!"

The people listened to the elders and let me go.

But when Uriah, a prophet of God gave the same message from God, saying the land would be destroyed and the people punished, the people reported it to King Eliakim. 

Eliakim and his officials became angry and searched for Uriah to kill him. 

Someone who loved God and his prophets warned Uriah about the soldiers who were coming to kill him. He became afraid and ran to Egypt to hide.

When the soldiers couldn't find Uriah, King Eliakim sent them to Egypt to search for him. 

Egypt was not a good place to hide. Pharaoh Neco liked having King Eliakim on the throne in Judah since Eliakim obeyed Neco. The pharaoh's army heard that Uriah hid in Egypt. They helped Eliakim look for Uriah. They sent him home with the soldiers. 

They dragged Uriah into the king's chambers. Eliakim ordered a soldier to kill Uriah because he gave a message from God. Words Eliakim didn't believe would come true. 

The soldier did as Eliakim said. Uriah didn't even get a good burial. They thew his body in a large hole with other people the king had killed. 

If Eliakim doesn't change his ways, Judah will be destroyed. God is sending prophets like Uriah and me to give them a chance. Sadly, I don't think they are listening.

1. Why were the officials and the priests yelling at each other?
2. What did the elders do?
3. Why did the elders say Jeremiah should not die?
4. Who is Uriah?
5. What did Uriah do?
6. What made King Eliakim angry?
7. Who did the soldiers look for in Egypt?
8. What happened to Uriah? Why?

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