Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 37 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – *1 Timothy 1:17*
Read the “0824 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“14 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the third entry that is in the house of the LORD: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing; hide nothing from me. 15 Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare it unto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, wilt thou not hearken unto me? 16 So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life. 17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon’s princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house: 18 But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand. 19 And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me. 20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.” (Jeremiah 38:14-20)
“5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I really enjoy reading the Book of Jeremiah! It has some of the characteristics and action of the historical books of the Bible, along with the prophecies that teach about the future of God’s people. I greatly admire Jeremiah’s faithfulness to the Lord to deliver this unpopular messages to God’s people, even when it resulted in his being put into jail. Once, the princes of Judah even placed him in a prison dungeon filled with mire where they attempted to starve him to death. God always brought him out of these unpleasant situations. He did not deliver him from them completely, but He always delivered him from them eventually. In the end we see Jeremiah being rewarded by the King of Babylon and also granted the freedom to go where he pleases, while all of the men of Judah that oppressed Jeremiah were either dragged into captivity or worse, put to death.
In chapter thirty-eight, King Zedekiah sends for Jeremiah to see if there is any word from the Lord, and there is; but what God has to say to Zedekiah was not what he wanted to hear. God was basically telling the king to surrender to the Babylonians and submit to them. God promises that if Zedekiah obeyed him, it would go well with the king’s family, and the city of Jerusalem would be spared. Zedekiah was more afraid of what his peers thought, however, and refused to listen to the counsel given through Jeremiah. He resists Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, which resulted in an 18 month siege and ultimate destruction of the city. Zedekiah’s sons were also slain, and the king’s eyes were plucked out immediately following the slaughter of his sons. Can you imagine the last thing you are able to see in life is the execution of your family? How tragic! And it did not have to happen. Zedekiah should have trusted the words of God given through the prophet Jeremiah and all of the death and destruction would have been avoided.
We are often no different than King Zedekiah. We often ignore the clear commands of God because we think we know better, or because doing so will result in the loss of friends. We need to learn to always choose God over everything and everybody else. God knows what is best for us, even if our finite minds cannot comprehend what He is doing. Acknowledge Him, and lean not unto your own understanding. Like Jeremiah, you will eventually reap the rewards of following Him.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.