Jeremiah 38:17-20—Jeremiah therefore said to Zedekiah, “This is what the LORD, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘If indeed you surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned down, and you and your household will survive. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city will be handed over to the Chaldeans. They will burn it down, and you yourself will not escape from them.’” But King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am worried about the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans. They may hand me over to them to abuse me.”
“They will not hand you over," Jeremiah replied. "Obey the voice of the LORD in what I am telling you, so it may go well for you and you can live.
What happened? King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah, the prophet and man of God to get specific instruction from God. He was facing imminent destruction from King Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army. Jeremiah gave him the Lord’s firm instruction. All he had to do was listen. But he didn’t. When the invading army breached the walls, he tried to flee and was promptly captured.
What should have happened? If Zedekiah followed God’s plan and simply surrendered, the Chaldeans would not have burned down Jerusalem and His temple. They would not have killed his sons and his commanders right before his eyes. They would not have put his eyes out leaving him blind and chained for the rest of what would be a miserable life. Had he obeyed it would have gone well for him.
How does this happen? Well, for starters, Zedekiah’s priorities were cockeyed. He was more worried about his own countrymen, the Judeans, who deserted to the Chaldeans and what they might do to him than he was willing to believe God. Ironically, if he was going to worry, the man he should have feared most was King Nebuchadnezzar! Zedekiah had a poor relationship with God—so faith and obedience were not on his list of attributes. He relied on his own brain cells. Worry is man’s postcard to heaven—“I can’t trust You!”
Indigestion is to uncontrolled acid what worry is to uncontrolled thinking. If God speaks, we have a choice. We can either listen to Him or we can ignore Him and suffer the consequences. What we are worried about reveals our condition. Worry is never the child of trust—it is the illegitimate offspring of Satan who long ago planted the first seeds of doubt in the minds of a man and a woman about what God reallysaid. If you are anxious about . . . it’s time again to listen to Jesus, who calmly stated, “Don’t worry about your life . . . Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?”(Mat. 6:25,27)
Hot water does not burn a house. –Kenyan Proverb
Fretfulness springs from a determination to get my own way. Our Lord never worried nor was He ever anxious, because He was not out to realize His own ideas, He was out to realize God’s ideas.—Oswald Chambers inGod’s Workmanship
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)