Jeremiah 21 has the King sending a message asking Jeremiah to intercede for his kingdom. Zedekiah was scared, and rightfully so. He was under fear of attack from Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and wants God to help. So he sends Pashhur to ask. Remember that this is the priest who had Jeremiah in stocks not too much earlier. “Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us”. Wishful thinking, but Pashhur goes and asks Jeremiah for God’s help.
Jeremiah doesn’t mince words in his reply from God. “I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath”. Not only are the kings of enemy lands coming, but God himself is committed to making sure that Jerusalem and Judah pay for their sin. God’s not going to protect them at all. And in fact, says He will bring them together into the city. God’s aiding the enemy of His people. So He is more than slightly aggravated here. They have crossed the line and are going to pay.
There isn’t any pity from God, nor Jeremiah. After all, they’ve been worshipping Baal and treating Jeremiah as a liar and criminal. God tells them if they stay and fight, they will die. So their best option is to surrender and become captive to the enemy. At least then they will live and have a chance in the future to repent and get right with God. But He is clear. “I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good”. God is punishing His people for the choices they have made leading them to live a life of sin. They will not be spared for their sin.
One of the hard lessons we have to learn about God is that He is a God of righteousness and justice. He is unable to just look past our sin. His very nature doesn’t allow it. “I will punish you according to the fruit of your deeds”. When we choose to sin, we must pay a price, and it is a heavy one indeed. Sin separates us from God. It has to because of who He is. And sin left undealt with will cause eternal separation from Him. God has made a way for us to deal with our sin, which is an intentional choice, not something that happened to us. We choose to sin, and that means we have to choose to get right. Confess, repent, receive – it’s that easy. Jesus came to earth and went to the cross to give us the solution. But we have to walk through the steps and build a saving relationship with Him. Have you done that? Are you ready?