Devotional on Jeremiah

Playing “let’s make a deal” with God
Jeremiah 34: The army of the king of Babylon has pulled back…but not for long.
One of the many acts of rebellion against God committed by Judah is that of making slaves of their fellow countrymen. God forbade this from the very beginning of their existence as a nation, even as they came up out of Egyptian slavery. Indentured servitude, yes – slavery, no. With things falling apart as Babylon’s army’s about to take the city of Jerusalem King Zedekiah frees all the salves. It appears that he’s playing “let’s make a deal” with God. In fact, the Lord seems to agree to the deal. Nebuchadnezzar withdraws his army and for the time being Jerusalem is spared. At this point Zedekiah does a stupid thing. He reneges on freeing the slaves. Those who have been set free are put back into slavery. The result is quite predictable. Once again Jeremiah comes forward with a message from the Lord. He says God’s going to set Zedekiah free in the same way: free to face war and destruction; to face the wrath of God expressed through a foreign king. Nebuchadnezzar will return to Jerusalem to finish what he started. I don’t think it’s ever wise to make deals with God. Sometimes, I think God sees us as we see a child who promises to keep his room clean the rest of his life if we let him stay up to watch a favorite TV show. We know the child can’t keep his side of the deal. In general, though, God expects us to keep our word. Zedekiah should have stayed with his move to make things right. In failing to do so, he became, not only a law-breaker once again, but a liar too.
Take Away: The Lord expects us to keep our word.

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