Saturday, February 17, 2018

Jeremiah 38:17-18 -- On Surrender

"Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon’s princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house:
But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand."
Jeremiah 38:17-18

What God tells us isn't always good news, or convenient.  Sometimes it means backing down, losing things that we love, or even losing part of what we feel is our own identity.   So it was with Zedekiah here.  Jeremiah told him what he needed to do to save his family and prevent the city from being burned, but he couldn't do it, and in the next chapter, his family is killed, he is blinded, and the city is burned.  What God told him wasn't good news, and it definitely wasn't an easy thing to do, but it was hope.  I think we, like Zedekiah, let other things get in the way of the hope that God offers us.

Truthfully, we can't know all that God knows, and things that seem hopeless for us (like surrendering to our enemies) might lead to a better outcome even though we can't see the whole picture.  Only God can see that, which is a good reason to listen to him (among a myriad of other reasons).

God asks us all to surrender at some point.  If not to our enemies in a war, then to surrender our wills to his, or our pride, or self-image, or our time, or our resistance, or our attitude, or our hatred.  Sometimes even our love, when he knows that it will end up harming us.

Today, let's be willing to surrender what God asks, when God asks.  Let's trust him and find hope in the life and future that he offers us, rather than being harmed or killed when we can't let go of our past.

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