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“May you and I obey God over man.” <>< Dona (10/30/20)

Please read Jeremiah 37 through 39.  If you don’t have a Bible handy just click here -> Biblegateway.com. The Biblegateway website should open for you to use. Type in the chapters you want to read and select the translation you want to read them from. Click search and the chapters should appear. Once you read the suggested chapters close the screen and you should return here.

Jeremiah 37 Theme

Jeremiah’s imprisonment.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, King Zedekiah and his officials didn’t want to listen to Your Words (v. 1-2).

Something to think about

But King Zedekiah was interested in Jeremiah praying to the Lord for them (v. 3).  The Lord spoke to Jeremiah that the Egyptians would be of no help to Jerusalem (v. 6-7).   The Lord said the Chaldeans would capture and burn the city (v. 8).  Jeremiah was accused of defecting (v. 11-12) and was arrested (v. 13). But Jeremiah rejected the claim that he was defecting (v. 14). Jeremiah was put in prison (v. 15). King Zedekiah secretly asked Jeremiah if a word had come from the Lord (v. 16-17).

Something to experience

We should establish or deepen our own relationship with the Lord and not depend on others to be our go between.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jeremiah 37:1-2 1 Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned as king, instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, listened to the Lord’s words, which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 37:3 Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Pray now to the Lord our God for us.”

Jeremiah 37:6-7 Then the Lord’s word came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘You shall tell the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which has come out to help you, will return to Egypt into their own land.”‘ 

Jeremiah 37:8 “The Chaldeans will come again, and fight against this city. They will take it and burn it with fire.”’

Jeremiah 37:11-12 11 When the army of the Chaldeans had broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12 then Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to receive his portion there, in the middle of the people. 

Jeremiah 37:13 When he was in Benjamin’s gate, a captain of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans!” 

Jeremiah 37:14 Then Jeremiah said, “That is false! I am not defecting to the Chaldeans.” But he didn’t listen to him; so Irijah seized Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes. 

Jeremiah 37:15 The princes were angry with Jeremiah, and struck him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe; for they had made that the prison.

Jeremiah 37:16-17 16 When Jeremiah had come into the dungeon house, and into the cells, and Jeremiah had remained there many days, 17 then Zedekiah the king sent, and had him brought out. The king asked him secretly in his house, “Is there any word from the Lord?”

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Jeremiah 38 Theme

Jeremiah’s Treatment.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, King Zedekiah tried to agree with everyone (v. 5, 10, 16).

Something to think about

Zedekiah couldn’t decide who he wanted to please – the officials or God.  Jeremiah was punished for speaking God’s Word by being put in a cistern (v. 6). Then he was saved from the cistern (a hole in the ground to collect rainwater) by one man who believed he was being treated unfairly (v. 7-9).  So, the king ordered Jeremiah taken from the cistern and be placed in the courtyard of the guard (v. 11-13). The king told Jeremiah he wouldn’t harm him or allow anyone else to do so (v. 14-16).  Jeremiah told the king what was going to happen (v. 17-18). Jeremiah told the king his (the king’s) life would be spared (v. 19-20).  Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard until the day Jerusalem was captured (v. 28).

Something to experience

What is most important to you – what others think and say or what God says (v. 1-4)?  Are you like Jeremiah willing to face even persecution for God (v. 4)?  Are you willing to help others even when no one else is (v. 9)?  Do you do what you do for man’s approval or God’s (v. 15)? 

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jeremiah 38:1-4 1 Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jeremiah spoke to all the people, saying, “The Lord says, ‘He who remains in this city will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live, and he will escape with his life, and he will live.’ The Lord says, ‘This city will surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will take it.’”  4Then the princes said to the king, “Please let this man be put to death; because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them: for this man doesn’t seek the welfare of this people, but harm.”

Jeremiah 38:5 Zedekiah the king said, “Behold, he is in your hand; for the king can’t do anything to oppose you.”

Jeremiah 38:6 Then they took Jeremiah and threw him into the dungeon of Malchijah the king’s son, that was in the court of the guard. They let down Jeremiah with cords. In the dungeon there was no water, but mire; and Jeremiah sank in the mire.

Jeremiah 38:7-9 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, a eunuch, who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon (the king was then sitting in Benjamin’s gate), Ebedmelech went out of the king’s house, and spoke to the king, saying, “My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon. He is likely to die in the place where he is, because of the famine; for there is no more bread in the city.”

Jeremiah 38:10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take from here thirty men with you, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he dies.”

Jeremiah 38:11-13 11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took from there rags and worn-out garments, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 12 Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Now put these rags and worn-out garments under your armpits under the cords.”  Jeremiah did so. 13 So they drew up Jeremiah with the cords, and took him up out of the dungeon; and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

Jeremiah 38:14-16 14 Then Zedekiah the king sent and took Jeremiah the prophet to himself into the third entry that is in the Lord’s house. Then the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you something. Hide nothing from me.”  15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? If I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.” 16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the Lord lives, who made us this soul, I will not put you to death, neither will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life.”

Jeremiah 38:17-18 17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “the Lord, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you will go out to the king of Babylon’s princes, then your soul will live, and this city will not be burned with fire. You will live, along with your house. 18 But if you will not go out to the king of Babylon’s princes, then this city will be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they will burn it with fire, and you won’t escape out of their hand.’”

Jeremiah 38:19-20 19 Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.”  20 But Jeremiah said, “They won’t deliver you. Obey, I beg you, the Lord’s voice, in that which I speak to you; so it will be well with you, and your soul will live.” 

Jeremiah 38:28 So Jeremiah stayed in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

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Jeremiah 39 Theme

Jerusalem is taken.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jeremiah’s prophecy was fulfilled.

Something to think about

Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonians (v. 1).  The Babylonians left behind some of the poor people, who owned nothing and gave them vineyards and fields (v. 10). Jeremiah remained among his own people (v. 11-14).  The official, Ebed-Melech, who had risked his life to retrieve Jeremiah from the cistern was also saved (v. 15-18).

Something to experience

Jeremiah and Ebed-Melech were both rewarded for their faithfulness.  We too will be rewarded if we place God before anyone else in our life.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Jeremiah 39:1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem, and besieged it. 

Jeremiah 39:10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, who had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.

Jeremiah 39:11-14 11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon commanded Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard concerning Jeremiah, saying,  12 “Take him, and take care of him. Do him no harm; but do to him even as he tells you.”  13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, with Nebushazban, Rabsaris, and Nergal Sharezer, Rabmag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon; 14 they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard, and committed him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home. So he lived among the people.

Jeremiah 39:15-18 15 Now the Lord’s word came to Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the guard, saying, 16 “Go, and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will bring My words on this city for evil, and not for good; and they will be accomplished before you in that day. 17 But I will deliver you in that day,” says the Lord; “and you will not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely save you, and you won’t fall by the sword, but you will escape with your life; because you have put your trust in Me,” says the Lord.’”

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Prayer

Lord, I pray we will treasure Your Word (Jeremiah 36).  Lord, I pray we will seek to have a personal relationship with You (Jeremiah 37:3).  Lord, I pray we will listen for and obey Your Word (Jeremiah 37:17). Lord, I pray we will faithfully follow You no matter what man does to us (Jeremiah 38:6).  Lord, thank You for blessing us in this life and in the life to come.  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

“May you and I faithfully follow the Lord.” <>< Dona