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August 6, 2012 – Jeremiah 34

Click here to read Jeremiah 34  on BibleGateway.com

Sometimes when you think things can’t get any worse, somebody throws another nail under your tire. This wonderfully uplighting principle is often called “Murphy’s Law,” which basically says “just because you think you’re a pessimist, doesn’t mean life can’t still come up with more things wrong than you can think of.” For example, it is inevitable that right when the Superbowl is on, the power will go out. And you’ll be in a basement with no windows. And all the flashlights will have dead batteries in them. And you’ll inevitably miss the first step running upstairs, faceplanting on the remaining steps in a fall cushioned only by the plate of nachos that you were carrying. And when you finally make it outside, you’ll see that there is one ray of light, coming from your burning roof.

Take heart, my friends. Murphy’s law is nothing new; even in the Bible we see how things go from bad to worse quite often. Let’s take a peek at poor Zedekiah today. Zedekiah was a king of Judah during the fun time of Judah’s history called Babylon-kicks-everybody-around-and-takes-all-their-stuff BC. So, Zedekiah, being the semi-righteous man he is, begs God to come and save his city, Jerusalem. Day after day, there’s no word from God, and the armies of Babylon are getting mighty close.

IS THERE ANYONE ELSE UP THERE I CAN TALK TO?

Finally, Zedekiah sees his ray of hope; Jeremiah the prophet steps on the scene. Finally, God has answered Zedekiah, and Jeremiah’s coming to tell him the details on how God is going to miraculously save his people yet again. Jeremiah tells him “yep, I have a word from God. Here it is: This is what theLord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape from his grasp but will surely be captured and given into his hands.”

Can you imagine poor Zedekiah? Finally, after all his waiting for a Word from God, God looks him in the eye and says “you think it’s bad now? Just wait a couple hours.” How tough would it be to hear “yes, I have heard your prayer about getting you that promotion; instead, you’re going to be fired and unemployed for the next year.” Why would God do such a thing? Doesn’t he care?

THE SILVERISH LINING

In Zedekiah’s case, God did care for him. Though Jerusalem would be destroyed, “Yet hear the Lord’s promise to you, Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully.” Judah had long forfeited its right to God’s divine protection, and nothing was going to change the fact that they would now reap the consequences of their actions. However, in the midst of the suffering, God remembered his servant.

This is often how God works in our lives. Sometimes we just can’t understand why God is allowing us to suffer like this. In some cases, unfortunately, it’s not because God is teaching us a lesson, but because we have to reap the consequences of our own decisions. But even in the midst of that, God still finds a way to show His love for us. Maybe we won’t see it till after the storm has passed and we’re sitting in captivity somewhere, but God is always working. He never forgets.

Even when the new guy at work drops a steel girder on the new truck you just bought yesterday. And haven’t had time to get insured yet.

 

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