When certain officials heard the prophecies of Jeremiah telling them that the city would be destroyed, if the king and people did not surrender to the Babylonians, and that those who remained therein would die by starvation or in battle or of disease, they felt that Jeremiah didn’t deserve to live because his messages were more of a discouragement than an encouragement to the soldiers and people too.
Therefore, they requested the king to surrender Jeremiah into their hands, which the king did, vs.1-5. Nevertheless, instead of killing Jeremiah, they lowered him into a waterless cistern which contained only mud in it, vs 6.
However, on hearing about this, an Ethiopian eunuch named Ebed Melech, who was a court official in the palace, took permission from the king to remove Jeremiah from the cistern, and on obtaining the king’s permission to do so, he came to Jeremiah’s rescue, vs 7-12.
Nevertheless, even after that, Jeremiah still remained confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse, vs13. Sometime later, king Zedekiah called for a private chat with Jeremiah, and sought to know once again what the Lord had to say about the situation, vs 14-16. Jeremiah reiterated that God promised the king and the people security if they surrendered to the Babylonians instead of fleeing the city, vs 17,18.
However, king Zedekiah was afraid that if he did so the Babylonians would hand him, over to the Judeans who had deserted to them and the Judeans would then torture him, vs 19! Jeremiah assured him that if he trustfully obeyed the Lord, then the Lord would ensure that all would go well with him and his life would be spared, but if not, Jeremiah said that he had seen a vision that showed him the disastrous results that would befall the king, the people, the city and the temple too, vs 20-23.
The king threatened Jeremiah with death if he revealed their conversation to anyone, and so Jeremiah kept the conversation between them a secret, and so when he was asked about details of that conversation by others, he told them just what the king told him to say, vs 24-27.
After that, Jeremiah remained confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem was captured, vs 28! Most often, each one of us is faced with a choice to obey God or the devil. When we choose to obey the devil, negative consequences follow and we come under the disciplining hand of the Lord. As we humble ourselves under God’s Mighty hand in humility in those situations, by confessing and turning from our sin, God eventually brings salvation, deliverance and restoration.
If we don’t, then we will die in our sin! However, it can become very difficult to humble ourselves and trust God, after years of walking in rebellion, just like we see in king Zedekiah’s case! So, let us make it a point to keep short accounts with God and man and walk in humility on a daily basis, thus ensuring that God’s grace never departs from us in the first place.
For it is only His grace that can carry us safely through the difficult days ahead and keep us from falling from our steadfastness, and cause us to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before His glorious presence, Jude 1:24. Let him who has an ear, hear! Amen.