Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, May 22, 2014

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. The warning of Jeremiah that God was turning the nation over to the Babylonians was now evidenced by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar surrounding the city.  Then King Zedekiah sent a delegation to Jeremiah to seek the Word of the Lord that he had so recently despised and rejected. He did this not because of true repentance or a change of heart, but in a desperate attempt to avert disaster and survive.

In response, Jeremiah sends a pointed message back to the King. The nation has gone too far and the message of doom and judgment is amplified. There is no hope for the city, the king or the princes, but he provides a way to lessen the impact on the ordinary people. He tells Zedekiah to go against every instinct he has to fight or to run and surrender to the Babylonians and he will live! Stay here, and you will die. God gives opportunity to choose life if there is only one person that will respond.

Almost as if the fairness of this judgment is being questioned, Jeremiah reminds the House of David, the King and his princes, that the reason for this happening is the total corruption within the ruling structure of the nation. God uses the opportunity to place in the Scriptures an impassioned plea for fairness, honesty, and compassion in governing or dealing with people. And there is a natural result, if you don’t.

It reminds me of a principle I instilled in my sons as they were growing up. Make good decisions, and good things happen. Make bad decisions, and bad things happen. The more good decisions you make, the more good things happen and the opposite also is true.  The sooner you stop making bad decisions and start making good decisions, the sooner good things will happen!

The good news in this chapter is that the love and justice of God will not permit Him to allow the corruption of sin to go unchecked forever. For those on the receiving end of injustice and oppression, He will one day make all things right and new. Praise God!

Dan Houghton 
Hart Research Center