Loving Lord, I am grateful that You invite my attention and You delight in my devotion. I wait for You.
Read Jeremiah 38:1-28
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, you sin” (Jas. 4:17, TNIV). Challenging words.
People in general, and politicians as much as anyone else, often opt for the path of expediency rather than justice. It was here that Pilate stumbled when Jesus was brought before him. King Zedekiah knew that the allegations against Jeremiah were malicious and false, and yet he put him in the hands of his accusers, shamelessly admitting there was nothing he could do against them. Thank God for men of integrity such as Ebed-Melek, the first of the two Ethiopian eunuchs of whom we read in the Bible (The second is in Acts 8:26-39). At considerable risk to himself, he was able to prevail on the king to secure the prophet’s life and improve his welfare, even though Jeremiah did not regain his liberty.
Why did Zedekiah arrange a secret meeting with the prophet (37:17)? He had others at court making positive prophecies based on falsehood (37:19). Evidently, he saw through them and recognized Jeremiah’s words as coming from God. Once again, Jeremiah declared God’s truth without compromise and offered godly counsel to the timorous king. Disobedience to God’s word, Jeremiah explained, would prove costly. Knowing the right thing, and doing it, are two different things. It was disobedience to God’s instructions that had brought the country to its present dire straits. Would the king now learn his lesson and follow Jeremiah’s advice?
King Zedekiah is one step ahead of some of our decision makers in that he did seek to know the mind of God in his situation. The word of God rarely comes to our leaders as clearly as it did to him! We cannot afford to be too hard on them, however, when–unlike Jeremiah–we who are supposed to bring the word from the Lord fail to do our part.
Was there a time when you failed to make the hard choice but followed the path of expediency? Pray for forgiveness for the past and strength for the future.
Lord, knowing Your will and doing it, are two different things. Help me to be obedient at all times.
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