Lent 2022 – A Firm Foundation

In Chapter 37 – there was a change in king. Zedekiah was king instead of Jehoiakim. Zedekiah had inquired of the Lord by Jeremiah requesting, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf!”and still Jeremiah prophesies “This is what you will say to Judah’s king, who is sending you to inquire of me: ‘Watch: Pharaoh’s army, which has come out to help you, is going to return to its own land of Egypt. The Chaldeans will then return and fight against this city. They will capture it and burn it.

The Chaldeans had retreated and Jeremiah was going to leave the city but and officer was at the gate and said, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans.” The gaurd lied and the officials beat Jeremiah and placed him in jail.

In the next chapter Jeremiah told men who were still fighting in the city,  ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever surrenders to the Chaldeans will live. He will retain his life like the spoils of war and will live.’ This is what the Lord says: ‘This city will most certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon’s army, and he will capture it.’” These men by permission of the king dropped Jeremiah into cistern and Jeremiah sunk in the mud. Eventually the king gives permission to another who is concerned that he will die and they send for someone to get him out of the cister.

See Zedekiah was not anointed as king. He wasn’t chosen by God to rule. He was made king by King Nebuchadnezzer. We can see from the events that Zedekian seems to just go along with whatever is happening. His decisions are made based on who is standing in front of him.

Eventually, he asks Jeremiah to tell him about what is happening and not to hide anything from him. He does this in private so that no one is listening and no one can accuse him of wrong doing.

 Jeremiah 38:7-19Jeremiah therefore said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If indeed you surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned, and you and your household will survive. 18 But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city will be handed over to the Chaldeans. They will burn it, and you yourself will not escape from them.’”19 But King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am worried about the Judeans who have defected to the Chaldeans. They may hand me over to the Judeans to abuse me.”

Somewhere in Zedekiah seems to be a desire to follow what the prophet says but he is worried about the Judeans. When we try to minimize our own personal damage by doing whatever seems right at the time instead of following what the Lord says it leaves us without a backbone and without a solid place to stand.

But no matter what happened to Jeremiah he had a firm foundation.

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord,
and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and they will trust in the Lord.

Where do you compromise and go along with whatever is happening to stay in the good graces of whoever is in front of you instead of following what you know God’s word has said?

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

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