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Monday: The Unhappy Reign of Zedekiah — 8 Comments

  1. When we try to save/protect someone from getting hurt (physical or emotional) you pray first seek God's counsel, and then you still try to reach them, try to warn them, tell them with love. It is hard to not do anything.

    • "Under all circumstances reproof should be spoken in love." (Gospel Workers p.120) What a lesson to learn! I appreciate your words Sandra. And what a world of difference - if we read the words of warning and reproof given in the Bible, and hear, instead of aggressive, angry tones, a tone of genuine care and compassion. This would represent the Spirit of God so much better than the alternative.

  2. Zedekiah turned against Nebuchadnezzar, his godfather or benefactor, to whom he had pledged an oath of loyalty, and thereby stubbornly resisted Jehovah’s will which he already knew (Jeremiah 37:1-2), feeling that his submission to other humans was too belittling (Ezekiel 17:15-18).

    For a time Zedekiah had repelled the forces of the Chaldeans and when the armies surrounded Jerusalem the Egyptians whom Zedekiah asked for help were able to delay the onslaught. Judah’s king interpreted this as divine favor or endorsement and intending to harden his position he sought the Lord’s approval through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37:3-10).

    Too often it is believers enter into prayer only to have their preconceived opinion blessed by the Lord. Seasons of prayer and fasting though attended by moaning and tears are but empty rituals if God’s will is not given a chance to overrule human will. Prayers to resolve controversies may not get answered if the parties are already sure of their position and think it is the other side that needs wisdom.

    As well with God an apparent delay of retribution is an opportunity for repentance, not hardening (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13). That there is no immediate consequence to bad decisions or mistakes is a measure of mercy (Romans 2:4).

    Zedekiah thought he could avoid submitting to fellow humans and still submit to God, but he was self-deceived. In spite of claims to the contrary any who think it impossible or unnecessary to submit to human authority will find it impossible or unnecessary to submit to God (1 John 4:20).

    • Hugh, I was interested in the phrase you used, describing Nebuchadnezzar as Zedekiah's "godfather or benefactor". This makes me think of the fact that Zedekiah was literally named by Nebuchadnezzar.

      In the same way that Pharaoh had appointed Josiah's son, Eliakim, as king of Judah, and changed his name to JEHOIAKIM (2Kings 23:34), so it was [about 11 yrs later] that the king of Babylon appointed Mattaniah as king, and changed his name to ZEDEKIAH ("the righteousness of Yahweh"). (2Kings 24:17)

      This kind of re-naming appears to have been customary among conquering powers. The fact that Jehoiakim and Zedekiah were both appointed and named by outsiders, declared loudly and clearly [to everyone] that they were completely under the power and authority of another. They were "another man's man".

      Now it interests me that Nebuchadnezzar had already seen "the righteousness of Yahweh" manifested in the lives of Daniel and others. For a while those manifestations of righteousness deeply effected the Babylonian king, and when he chose the name "Zedekiah", that name was full of meaning to him. Nebuchadnezzar expected high standards, and if those standards had been met, the "head of Gold" would have been generous and lenient towards the people of God.

      The fact that Jeremiah was shown special respect, and that he was allowed to remain in Jerusalem if he so wished, showed that Nebuchadnezzar was more than willing to reward faithfulness. (Jer 39:11-14; 40:4)

  3. Being God's mouthpiece is not just a bed of roses. There are so many challenges that one faces. Jeremiah was never discouraged in God's work, he pressed on and on amid all the dangers surrounding him in order to serve the children of lsrael. So it is with us today. There should not be any challenge greater than the task given us by God. The world is perishing and we need to teach the word of God with much courage.

  4. Vitally important lessons in this study of Jeremiah and the fall of the once-favored City of Peace. When we no longer offer peace to the world, we will be found as taking Peace from the earth. (Rev 6:3,4)

    Jesus Himself will remove any lamp that has lost it's light. (Rev 2:5)

  5. even the pagans recognises the pressence of the living God its only their ignorance and pride that makes them blind.(jer.29:11)for I know the plans I have for you plans of good not evil. but people lack patience and run after their own ways instead of waiting for God's appointed time.

  6. After all the sins of Israel and Judah, God's favor was reduced to the preservation of their lives by surrendering to Nebuchadnezzar. That meant the ruling class would be saved, but not powerful, nor rich, anymore. All the "patriotic" and "holy" martial mode against the "enemies of God's nation," and their belief in the false prophets, was more for the preservation of their privileges, not understanding it was game over. God would not back that disobedient nation, polluted by idolatry and injustice. God still gave them the chance to live, but their pride blinded them, costing them later on their lives, and for King Zedekiah, the life of his children, his sight and his freedom.


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