Jeremiah 38:18-20 (KJV)
But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.
And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.
But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.
What a strange thing it is that Zedekiah should be more afraid of the Jews than of Babylon, whose might was already deemed to be greater than his own, or God, who Jeremiah had prophesied would not help him unless he surrender to the Babylonians.
Zedekiah reminds me of the average professing Christian. He was interested in the Word of God. In many ways he was sympathetic to the cause of those in the ministry. But he was physically unwilling to put aside his rational fears and simply obey the Lord.
Why Zedekiah was this way is only ours to speculate. I imagine it was for many of the same reasons people come week after week to hear the Word of the Lord but, in the end, make few changes in their lives to comply with that Word.
- I think they want to believe the Word but they do not.
- I think it sounds plausible in their heart but their flesh will not allow them to trust in it.
- I think they want to secretly keep the preacher on their side in case he is right but they aren’t willing to risk if he is wrong.
This leaves the preacher to do just what Jeremiah did. He pled for the king to set aside those fears and obey the voice of the Lord.
May many heed this plea!
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Jeremiah 38:18-20 Set Aside Those Fears
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