Archive for November 4th, 2013

Jeremiah 52

Jeremiah finishes his book with a review of Zedekiah. He tells us “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done”.  Even though Zedekiah just followed what he had been taught and lived, God doesn’t give him a pass.  Leaders have tremendous influence on those who follow them.  It is so important that we lead well and lead God’s way as leaders.  But followers don’t get a pass, and certainly not if those someday become leaders as well.  In Zedekiah’s situation, “because of the anger of the Lord things came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence”.

God takes action.  He allows Nebuchadnezzar to lay siege to the city and capture Zedekiah.  He and his leaders fled the city and tried to escape, but they were run down and punished.  Here is what scripture tells us happened:

“slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes

slaughtered all the officials

put out the eyes of Zedekiah

bound him in chains

put him in prison till the day of his death

Was God serious about punishing a king that chose intentionally to walk in evil ways?  He certainly was, and the punishment was severe not only for Zedekiah but all those in his family and leadership.

But the unfortunate reality is that evil spills way outside of the one who commits it.  Nebuchadnezzar also “burned the house of the Lord” and much of the city.  He also took all the people that he didn’t kill and moved them in captivity to Babylon.  There were thousands of people – 4600 in total – that were marched from their homes to a place of exile.  Why?  Because of the sin of a king and his leaders, and the failure of the people to turn from evil and walk with God.  Yes – their leaders were taking them the wrong way – but at the end of the day it was their responsibility to walk in righteousness.

We are responsible for our actions as individuals.  We must choose to walk God’s way, not just follow the crowd because it is easy.  Sin is always a choice.  No one makes us do it.  No one can be blamed for it.  We alone are guilty of that choice.  When we make a bad choice, we will deal with punishment.  And if we aren’t forgiven, through the shed blood of the Savior Himself, our eternity will not go well and will make Zedekiah’s fate seem pretty easy.  Are you making a choice to walk with Jesus every day?

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