There’s an old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” When the time comes – in any life – for death and destruction to be at the door, people instinctively reach out for God, even if they don’t know Him.
That’s what we see with Zedekiah. He has been appointed king by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. (The Chaldean country had besieged Judah and taken off some of the elites. Now they were demanding their choice of leadership in the land). Certainly, Nebuchadnezzar had not chosen someone who would be faithful to his God. So we have a lukewarm Jew as king.
Publicly Zedekiah persecuted and abused Jeremiah, but there are hints that he had the aforementioned “foxhole syndrome.” When the king discovered that Jeremiah had been thrown into a cistern and bogged down in mud, he engineered the prophet’s secret release. And he brought him to his own guardhouse.
Soon thereafter, promising to keep him safe and not to punish him for his words, Zedekiah calls Jeremiah to him. “What’s God saying to you?” is his request.
The prophet boldly tells Zedekiah the word of the Lord. Judah will be overthrown by Babylon; there is no stopping it. If the king will willingly go and turn himself over to Nebuchadnezzar, then he will not be harmed and Jerusalem will not be burned. If the king resists, however, the reverse will be true.
Zedekiah stubbornly remains in his place, and is soon carried away against his will. His palace and many fine homes are burned by the invading army, and Zedekiah’s sons are killed before his eyes. Then he is blinded and carried away. The king’s life is spared, but just as Jeremiah predicted, he suffers greatly.
When God speaks, we must listen. He is calling to His church today, stirring hearts to return to Him. He is a glorious, wonderful, merciful God who wants to bless us all abundantly.
If we will just listen, obey, and receive from Him!
Heads up! Every time we read Hebrews we should be energized in the spirit. It’s such a wonderful rendition of Christ and what he has done for us. And it is the best comparison between the old and new covenants.
First we establish who Jesus is. He speaks to us in these last days to bring us the revelation of God’s plan – and just what He wants to do through us.
Jesus is the heir of all things, being the exact representation of God’s nature. (If we’ve seen Jesus, we’ve seen the Father). But His magnificence is explained even more. Jesus “upholds all things by the Word of His power.” (V. 3) It was Jesus who spoke the world into existence, and the power in that word is still here today. The world is still spinning as it was in the beginning – and won’t stop until He tells it to. Think about that!
One Word of His power can create or destroy. When he speaks, things happen. Mind-boggling.
So this mighty, perfect Son of God paid the price for our sins and sat down at the right hand of his Father in heaven.
Now all the hosts of heaven – the angels and the demons are subject to Him. The demons have to flee when He tells them to. And the angels scurry about doing His will in the earth. They are ministering spirits sent to help those who inherit salvation.
Now we usually can’t see these spirits, but they are there. If you think about it, I bet there have been times when you knew they had to be helping you. Maybe a car accident avoided or a dangerous situation averted. Or maybe you knew that they helped you to find something you lost.
We have so many advantages as we walk with our God. As we pray, we can pray for angels to bring people across the paths of our loved ones who haven’t come to know Jesus yet. Using the authority delegated to us, as we speak God’s word, angels must obey us also.
They are at work on our behalf, so let’s be aware of them as much as we can. We will become more and more mindful of the benefits they provide.
We have everything we need for this abundant life we are living.