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. ~Jeremiah 38:20
The name Zedekiah means “Jehovah is righteous.” However, unlike his name, this king did not have a reign that pleased God or depicted His righteousness. He had heard the prophecies of Jeremiah about coming judgment on Jerusalem. However, he was torn between pleasing people and obeying the Lord. Jeremiah told him to “Obey... the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.”
We see the precept.
“Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house….” God told Zedekiah that when Jerusalem would be taken over by the Babylonians, then he should go with them to the land of Babylon. He was telling the king to acquiesce for his personal wellbeing and that of the city. God told him, “If thou wilt... thy soul shall live.” Even when what God says might sound contrary to our senses, every Word of God is truth and must be trusted. His commandments are not grievous, but always in our best interest.
We see the priority.
“But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee….” Jeremiah told him, “Obey, I beseech thee.” The test of our loyalty and willingness to do what is right boils down to obedience. Obedience demands that we fulfill and follow through with God’s Word. David said, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.... The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” We can trust God’s Word. His Word will never fail us. Our priority is to obey the Lord. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
We see the promise.
“So it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live." Obedience is absolute for the health of our soul and our total wellbeing. First, there is the promise of peace, protection, and productivity. We have the joy of the Lord abounding in us and hope that springs eternal in our soul. Second, God shines His face upon us, our families, and those who are nearest to us. God guarantees that our obedience gives us His umbrella of protection and blessing.
We see the protest.
“And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.” Zedekiah saw the Babylonian army as they entered the city, and instead of trusting the Lord, he went into survival mode. He trusted the princes instead of the Lord. He followed them in making a stealthy exit out of the city in the hope of escaping the Babylonians. However, this was completely against God’s Word. His decision was his ultimate act of rebellion against the Lord, Who wanted him to repent of his sins and obey Him.
We see the privation.
The king, his family, and the nobles were captured. He watched the Babylonians kill his sons and the nobles. Then, his eyes were put out, and he was bound with chains and taken to Babylon. The city was burned down with fire. His disobedience resulted in complete bankruptcy and a very sad ending. We must trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey. "Obey... and thy soul shall live."
Have an obedient God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Samuel 13-14