S: Jeremiah 38:14-24 One day King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah and had him brought to the third entrance of the Lord’s Temple. “I want to ask you something,” the king said. “And don’t try to hide the truth.” Jeremiah said, “If I tell you the truth, you will kill me. And if I give you advice, you won’t listen to me anyway.” So King Zedekiah secretly promised him, “As surely as the Lord our Creator lives, I will not kill you or hand you over to the men who want you dead.” Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the Babylonian officers, you and your family will live, and the city will not be burned down. But if you refuse to surrender, you will not escape! This city will be handed over to the Babylonians, and they will burn it to the ground.’” “But I am afraid to surrender,” the king said, “for the Babylonians may hand me over to the Judeans who have defected to them. And who knows what they will do to me!” Jeremiah replied, “You won’t be handed over to them if you choose to obey the Lord. Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in your palace will be brought out and given to the officers of the Babylonian army. Then the women will taunt you, saying, ‘What fine friends you have! They have betrayed and misled you. When your feet sank in the mud, they left you to your fate!’ All your wives and children will be led out to the Babylonians, and you will not escape. You will be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down.”Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Don’t tell anyone you told me this, or you will die!
O: King Zedekiah knew that Jeremiah was really a prophet of God, so he sought him out to find out what God had to say about what to do about the Babylonian invasion.
Jeremiah knew that Zedekiah wasn't willing to follow what God said, but Zedekiah insisted that he tell him anyway. Indeed, history shows that Zedekiah did not follow what God said, and even his reaction here — telling Jeremiah to not reveal what he told him — shows it.
A: As James 2:19 points out, even the demons believe in God, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder." And earlier in James 1:22-24, it says, "But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like."
We must not only seek out the Word of the Lord, we must also obey it! Otherwise, it's a pointless exercise. 2 Kings 25:7 tells us what happened to Zedekiah because he ignored what God said: "They made Zedekiah watch as they slaughtered his sons. Then they gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon." What a terrible way to go!
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
P: Father, when I am tempted, remind me to be a doer of Your Word, and not a hearer only, deceiving myself. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)