Read Jeremiah 37
See four kinds of people: The wicked who hate and hurt those who stand for God and His Word (Jer. 37:11-16; 38:1-6); the disobedient who want God to bless them but will not repent of their sins (37:1-3,17; 38:14,19-20); Jeremiah, the faithful one who willingly suffers for God (40:1-6); and the compromiser, the "puppet" governor (40:5-16).
In the tenth and eleventh years of Zedekiah's reign, the armies of Egypt and Babylon were warring for mastery. Fearful of the consequences, Zedekiah appealed to the prophet to intercede in prayer for a favorable outcome. He had requested Jeremiah's counsel once before (Jer. 21), when the king of Babylon's army first approached. But, like the Egyptian Pharaoh of Moses' day, Zedekiah's reason for asking for the Lord's message was to get relief from imminent dangers. He showed no desire to repent of his sins and his seeking the Lord was motivated only by his selfish desire for security. Jeremiah received this answer: The Chaldeans (Babylonians) shall come again, and fight against this city (Jerusalem), and take it, and burn it with fire. Thus saith the Lord; Deceive not yourselves (37:8-9).
Delusions come upon all who turn from God. Zedekiah trusted in and requested help from the Egyptians. He would not accept the messages God spoke through Jeremiah that the Chaldean power would scatter the forces of Pharaoh. Sadly, Judah rejected God and trusted in Egypt (Deut. 17:16).
God eventually released a disobedient nation to destruction by a ruthless army.
Godly Jeremiah suffered five imprisonments for his faithfulness to God and his loyalty to his country. He was also imprisoned for treason (Jer. 37:11-15) and later was lowered into a muddy dungeon (38:6).
Zedekiah attempted to escape but was captured near Jericho and forced to watch as his family was murdered. Zedekiah's eyes were then put out. Blinded and suffering, he was taken in chains to Babylon with many regrets, thus fulfilling the prophecies that foretold the details of this horrifying experience (Ezek. 12:13; II Kin. 25:7; Jer. 32:4).
Our loving Heavenly Father has provided a way for us to escape eternal judgment — through His Son: Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near (Is. 55:6). Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. . . . How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation (Heb. 2:1,3)?
Thought for Today:
As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God (Deut. 8:20).
By Jeremiah, who stood as a faithful witness to the revealed will of God (Jer. 38:2-9). Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness (testimony) against Jesus, to put Him to death (Matt. 26:59).
37:16 cabins bells; 38:4 weakeneth the hands of discourages; 38:12 cast clouts torn-out clothes; 38:19 mock abuse; 39:18 for a prey is a prize; 40:4 forbear to what you prefer.
Pray for Staff: Michael Moore • Government Official: Gov. Nathan Deal (GA) • Country: Taiwan, Republic of China (22 million) 77 islands off the southeastern coast of Red China • Major language: Mandarin Chinese • Religious freedom • 80% "Chinese Religions" (Buddhist/Taoist/Confucian); 4% Christianity; .2% Muslim; 14% Atheist; 1.8% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be considerate to the less fortunate (Ps. 41:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: