Jeremiah 21, 34, 37-38

King Zedekiah has the gall to ask Jeremiah for a message from the Lord, after jailing him (32:2).
Or he has the gall to jail him after he asks gets this message.  Chronology is tricky in this book, but either way, the king was hypocritical and a waffler during this time.

The message is: Judah will be defeated by Babylon and should surrender to them.  God is going to punish Judah for her sins.

Zedekiah will go captive to Babylon but die peacefully and lamented by Israel.
Israel freed all Hebrew slaves during the siege, but then it went on or was relaxed for a while so they took their slaves back.  God pronounces Judah free... to the sword and captivity.

Egypt musters and advances out of Egypt to attack Babylon, so it withdraws.  Judah takes hope in this, but Jeremiah prophesies they shouldn't.  Egypt will go back home and Babylon will still conquer Judah.  Jeremiah leaves the city when the siege lifts to go finalize the purchase of his field, and gets accused of defecting to the Chaldeans (Babylon).  They beat and jail him.  But the king meets privately with Jeremiah, who gives the same message of coming defeat, and pleads his personal case for unjust treatment.

Officials around the king charge Jeremiah with treason and get him thrown in a pit.  An Ethiopian eunuch loyal to Jeremiah lobbies to get him released.  Jeremiah meets privately with the king again, who admits he is afraid to surrender because of the severe treatment he's likely to get if he does.  Jeremiah repeats that it'll go better for Zedekiah and all Judah if he repents and surrenders.  He still doesn't do it.

How this is about Jesus
34:18-19 contains some important cultural information that explains Genesis 15:9-21.  It was called a bloodpath covenant.  To formalize an agreement, contract or promise, you cut animals in two and walked barefoot through the blood between them, to say, do this to me if I break my word in this.  God does this after promising Abraham land and children (Gen. 15:2) in the covenant, and calling him to be blameless (Gen 17:1).  God later gives Jesus as the sacrificed animal killed to make up for Abraham and his descendants' failure to keep their side of the bargain.

Zedekiah is a warning to all spiritual wafflers and dawdlers.  When you have a hard choice or a sacrifice to make, with people around you divided about what to do, listen to God's guidance and don't fear the consequences.

Meanwhile, God's message is clear and consistent through this time of chaos and uncertainty.  The problem isn't if we can understand God, but if we will accept it amidst situations that daunt us.

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