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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jeremiah 38:20-22

"But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please obey the LORD in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live. “But if you keep refusing to go out, this is the word which the LORD has shown me:

‘Then behold, all of the women who have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the officers of the king of Babylon; and those women will say,

“Your close friends
Have misled and overpowered you;
While your feet were sunk in the mire,
They turned back.'"

What the LORD asked King Zedekiah to do is nothing easy.  He asked him to surrender to the invading army of Babylon so that many would be spared and the city not destroyed.  Instead of protecting the city like He has always done, he has sent the Babylonians against it to capture it because of the wickedness of Israel.  And although God's judgment is absolute, his mercy still shines through.  If Zedekiah but humbles himself and obeys the LORD one final time, many will live and Jerusalem will not burn.  The cost of disobedience is clear.  The penalty of sin is death.

Although the pressure on him to listen to his friends and please his officials is great, the cost of pleasing them is his own life for in the end they will betray him and leave him to die.  Only the LORD is able to offer him a way out, but it isn't going to be easy.  And just like Zedekiah, we all have a choice to make.

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