17/8/11 Jeremiah 23-25; John 19
S: Jeremiah 22:30 This is what the Lord says: ‘Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless. He is a failure, for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David to rule over Judah.’
Jeremiah 24:5-6 “For the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’
In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.”
O: Jehoiachin was a descendant of David, and sat on the throne of David, but he had done much evil. So God condemned him like the evil kings of Israel in the past, to having no descendants anymore to sit on the throne of David.
However, just a few verses later, God promised to raise up a new descendant of David who will sit on the throne of David and rule justly with wisdom.
Jehoiachin did indeed have descendants who led Israel again, but not as king. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel was a good leader during the time of the return from the exile, and he was a descendant of Jehoaiachin.
If you look at the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, you will see that the genealogy in Matthew goes through Jehoaiachin (he was listed using his other name Jeconiah), but the genealogy in Luke does not. Evidence from church history tells us that the genealogy in Matthew traces Jesus' legal genealogy through his adopted father Joseph, through the royal line back to David, while Luke traces his biological genealogy through Mary (Joseph being actually the son-in-law of Heli/Joachim*.)**
So, Jesus legitimately the successor to the throne of David legally (Matthew) and biologically (Luke). This solves the problem of how we can have a Messiah who sits on the throne of David in spite of the royal line being cursed at the time of Jehoiachin/Jeconiah.
A: Even in the midst of the troubled times of Jeremiah with the destruction of Judah as a political entity and the exile, God is still preparing His salvation. He provided Cyrus, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel to physically bring the Jews back to the land of Israel, then He brought Jesus to restore the throne of David -- but way more than the Jews ever imagined -- not just to save the Jews, but to save the whole world!
We are now part of this salvation, grafted into the vine. Even when we are facing difficult times, we can trust that God is still in control.
P: Father, we thank You that You loved us and while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Help us to stay strong in our faith even when things are difficult. In Jesus' name, amen.
* Heli is the same name as Joachim in this manner: Heli is a Greek contraction of Eliachim, which is the same as Jehoachim. (Eli = God; Jeho = Jehovah.)
** You might notice that Zerubabbel son of Shealtiel is in both genealogies. It could be two different Zerubabbels or it could be that the lines crossed again through marriage and we have more sons-in-law and adoptions listed here.