Jeremiah 37 Commentary

Jeremiah 37 Commentary

This is exactly Judah’s problem. The king has zero relationship with the LORD. The anointing oil on his head means nothing. Not to mention the sad fact that Zedekiah’s kingship is imposed on the nation by a foreign power.

Of course, Zedekiah still bears the burden of the nation on his shoulders, albeit weak shoulders. But it is Zedekiah’s poor relationship with the LORD that matters most. He has to enquire of the LORD via the prophet Jeremiah. A bad shepherd he is, Zedekiah.

Judah’s troubles come in installments probably because the LORD is constantly looking for signs of repentance. None comes.

Zedekiah is an interesting character. He knows the position of the LORD already. Is he hoping for a different position with the passage of time? And how different is the saint who prays for answers he already has? Can adultery have a different name? Can it transform into a sacred act over time? Unfortunately for Zedekiah, the word remains the same.

Jeremiah represents the LORD. He experiences the pain and suffering of the LORD. The king, the leaders, and the people pay no attention to the word of the LORD. The LORD lives with a constant wound. Israel is a real pain – holiness versus wickedness and faithlessness.

By the time of King Zedekiah, the once powerful, united and prosperous kingdom of David and Solomon was only a little more than a city-state – Jerusalem was the only point of real life, albeit fast fading.

Think of the vast land that the LORD promised Abraham – a land flowing with milk and honey. Think of Abraham’s victory over the four powerful kings that ruled the vast land. It is at this point that Melchizedek appears to Abraham and blesses him – a seal of ownership of the LORD’s blessing

In between Abraham and Zedekiah are numerous ‘times and experiences’. Complacent Israel is enslaved in Egypt. The Great Exodus follows. The Promised Land isn’t exactly flowing with milk and honey during the times of the Judges. Then David shows up and Israel begins to look the type. David is anointed – the Spirit of the LORD working through him in the manner of other heroic Judges. He also loves God. But that isn’t exactly the way of many of his sons that sit on his throne. Zedekiah is a good example of spiritual failure.

There is more at play during this time. While King Zedekiah and his people are playing the bad guy, Jeremiah is steadfast and reflects the image of the Creator God. The people don’t understand this God at all. They think He is immoral like the Canaanite gods. So they expect deliverance without repentance. They no longer care about the covenant. Jeremiah’s imprisonment and mistreatment placed the glory of God where it belonged – the trash heap or in confinement and away from normal life.

The saint today shouldn’t have too much hope. We have more Zedekiahs than we care to count. How we should pray for more grace! It is the God in you that the world is after. Trash him, isolate him, and get rid of him. Unfortunately, you have Him in your chest and are trashed together with Him. Jeremiah won’t be the last one to experience it.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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