We have been reading through Jeremiah lately. I am fascinated by Jeremiah’s conversations with king Zedekiah:
Jeremiah was sent to Zedekiah, king of Judah, to tell him of the coming judgment at the hand of the Babylonians. Zedekiah asked Jeremiah what the word of the Lord was several times, but each time he heard it he refused to obey (Jer. 37:2).
“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, “Thus says the Lord:’Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. And you shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand; your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, he shall speak with you face to face, and you shall go to Babylon. Yet hear the word of the Lord O Zedekiah, King of Judah! Thus says the Lord concerning you: ‘You shall not surely die by the sword. But you shall die in peace; as in the ceremonies of your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so they shall burn incense for you and lament for you, saying, “Alas, lord!” ‘For I have pronounced the word,’ says the Lord'” (Jer. 35:2-5).
“Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You shall surely surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul shall live; this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans; they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand'” (Jer. 38:17-18).
The false prophets told Zedekiah that if he stayed in the city that he would have peace (Jer. 37:19).
Zedekiah didn’t listen to Jeremiah, so Jerusalem was destroyed, Zedekiah’s family was killed and Zedekiah’s eyes were put out. He did not die in peace and he did not see the king of Babylon with his own eyes (Jeremiah 39:1-10).
What really stands out to me is that 1) the path that looks the most peaceful is sometimes the one that leads to destruction. The one that looks difficult leads to peace if it is the one God calls us to. 2) God’s ways don’t often make sense to us but they are good and right. 3) God keeps His word. 4) We shouldn’t listen to the people who tell us what we want to hear, but to the ones who tell us the truth. 5) God wants us to trust Him and not what we see.