Jeremiah 38:20 “Jeremiah said, “You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the LORD in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared.”
Poor Zedekiah, caught between a rock and a hard place. Afraid of the king of Babylon and afraid of the Judeans who deserted to the Chaldeans and afraid of God. He wants Jeremiah’s advice but is too afraid to take it. Jeremiah made it plain to him that he could surrender to Babylon and live or give Jerusalem over to the Chaldeans, who would burn it with fire, and he would be in their hands.
Notice Zedekiah’s problem. It is whether or not to obey God. I talk a lot about obedience on my blog. It’s key to everything in our relationship with God. Zedekiah, like a lot of us today, heard the word of the Lord, but he had his own idea of what he needed to do. Many today find it hard to just do what God says. They think grace will overcome the need of obedience. They think love will overcome the need of obedience. They misread the scripture. From cover to cover, book after book, chapter after chapter, and verse after verse, obedience is required by God to win His approval and blessing.
Jeremiah also appeals to Zedekiah on behalf of the women in his city. Failure to obey God will bring them into grief. Sometimes our failure to obey God endangers others. Let that set in for a minute. We don’t live isolated lives for the most part, and what we do or don’t do may well affect others, some very close to us.
Task for Today: All through the word, there are blessings and curses. In every case, the pivotal point is obedience. The book of Jeremiah is full of it. How do you view the commands and charges of God? Some obey if it suits them, some don’t obey at all, and some try their best to be obedient. Which one describes you? Do you shuffle from foot to foot, or are your feet firmly planted? Plant them in the ground of obedience.