Jeremiah 38-40 and Psalm 74 & 79
I believe today’s Bible reading ranks high among the most depressing passages of Scripture. From the burning of Jeremiah’s scroll by King Jehoiakim which we read about yesterday to the major blows against Judah we read about today another 17 years has passed. Jeremiah is still preaching, warning, and speaking truth for God, but very few seem to be interested. In all, Jeremiah will have preached 39 years, his ministry reaching across the reigns of 5 kings of Judah, only one of whom truly listened to Jeremiah and had a heart for God. If more had responded the way Josiah had, the disastrous events of today’s reading would have been avoided. But instead, Judah’s final king, Zedekiah (chosen by Nebuchadnezzar), is a weak king who lacks the courage to do things God’s way.
Unlike Jehoiakim who scorned God’s word and His prophet, Zedekiah seems to know about God and His power. He asks Jeremiah to pray for them and he secretly asks Jeremiah what he should do. BUT – he doesn’t do it. And, when feeling pressure from Jeremiah’s enemies, he even gives his permission for them to mistreat him and abandon him to die in a deep, muddy pit. Thankfully, Ebed-Melek was there to petition the king to allow them to rescue Jeremiah. Even at Judah’s final hour, with Babylon at the city walls, God, through Jeremiah, gave Zedekiah an opportunity to save his life and his city. He could surrender to Babylon and peacefully accept the “time-out” Judah deserved for her waywardness. But, instead he runs from God’s plan into a tragic, tragic end for himself, his family, his advisors, his city and his country. Do you think he regretted his decision as he was watching his sons be put to death, or as his eyes were gouged out?
Suddenly, surrendering to God’s plan doesn’t seem so hard, difficult or painful after all -considering the consequences of the alternatives. Is there an area where you are feeling too weak, too prideful, too insignificant, too scared to follow God’s plan? Remember, there are often painful consequences of running from God’s plan. It’s not enough to know of God and his power and truth. It’s not enough to ask for prayer and guidance. You must step up and do what God wants you to do.
Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at Jeremiah 38-40 and
Tomorrow’s reading will be 2 Kings 24 & 25 and 2 Chronicles 36 as we continue on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan