Jeremiah 38 … Consider Him Who Offers Life

But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please obey the Lord in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live,” (38:20).

Again, through His prophet, Jeremiah, we hear God’s heart for this king and His desire that Zedekiah would respond in obedience, that it might go well with him and that he might live.

But Zedekiah was easily swayed by everyone, except the Lord. And Jeremiah knew this all too well. After all, he had found himself on the edge of death, sunk in a dank and soggy cistern because of it.

Then the officials said to the king, “Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man is not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm.” So King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your hands; for the king can do nothing against you.”  Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud, (38:4-6).

But the king would also be persuaded by a kind and discerning eunuch to rescue Jeremiah before he dies.

But Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch, while he was in the king’s palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. Now the king was sitting in the Gate of Benjamin; and Ebed-melech went out from the king’s palace and spoke to the king, saying, “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet whom they have cast into the cistern; and he will die right where he is because of the famine, for there is no more bread in the city.” 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men from here under your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies,” (38:7-10).

But this king was easily coaxed; and it seems what motivated him most was fear, and unfortunately not the fear of the Lord, but the fear of men.

Zedekiah feared the men who sought to put Jeremiah to death more than he feared the One Who is able to destroy body and soul in hell.

So King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your hands; for the king can do nothing against you.” (38:5).

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” (Matthew 10:28).

Zedekiah feared the outcome of the public more than he feared the One worthy of public confession.

But King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah in secret saying, “As the Lord lives, who made this life for us, surely I will not put you to death nor will I give you over to the hand of these men who are seeking your life.” (38:16).

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 10:32-33).

Zedekiah feared the unknown more than he feared the All-knowing God.

Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I dread the Jews who have gone over to the Chaldeans, for they may give me over into their hand and they will abuse me.” (38:19).

“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows,” (Matthew 10:29-30).

Zedekiah feared the authority of man more than he feared the authority of God.

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no man know about these words and you will not die. (38:24).

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him, (Colossians 1:16).

And in their secret meeting, Jeremiah warns the king that his fear of man is a more treacherous and deadly trap than all the mud in all the cisterns in all the world; and if Zedekiah continued in the fear of man, if he continued to refuse Him Who Offers Life, he would find himself sunk.

“Your close friends
Have misled and overpowered you;
While your feet were sunk in the mire,
They turned back.”

And Jeremiah makes His appeal to the king to “Please obey the Lord,” pleading with him to please choose God’s one way to live, please walk in the fear of the Lord, please stand firm, please don’t vacillate, please accept His Offer, please put your faith in Him. And God continues to make the same appeal through Jesus Christ, that all would turn to Him Who Offers Life.

Consider Him Who Offers Life

  • Because He Is the Creator of all Life, He alone is able to Offer Life.
    • God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them, (Genesis 1:27).
      • He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him, (Colossians 1:15-16).
  • Because He Holds all Life, He alone is able to Offer Life.
    • Who among all these does not know
      That the hand of the Lord has done this,
      10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
      And the breath of all mankind?
      (Job 12:9-19).
      • He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything, (Colossians 1:17-18).
  • Because Is Sovereign over all Life, He alone is able to Offer Life.
    • Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all, (1 Chronicles 29:11).
      • …until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, (1 Timothy 6:14-15).
  • Because He alone is God, He alone is able to Offer Life.
    • “And My servant whom I have chosen,
      So that you may know and believe Me
      And understand that I am He.
      Before Me there was no God formed,
      And there will be none after Me.
      11 “I, even I, am the Lord,
      And there is no savior besides Me.
      12 “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
      And there was no strange god among you;
      So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
      “And I am God.
      13 “Even from eternity I am He,
      And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
      I act and who can reverse it?”
       (Isaiah 43:10-13).
      • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being, (John 1:1-3).

How do we respond to Him Who Offers Life?

But Jeremiah said, “They will not give you over. Please obey the Lord in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live,” (38:20).

His Word continues to go forth, fear Him and obey Him Who Offers Life. He alone is able to Offer Life, and He repeatedly extends the invitation even though many repeatedly reject His Offer.

But if we are wise, we will be persuaded by the fear of the Lord and not the fear of man, so as to believe and obey Him Who Offers Life, that it may be well with us all the days of our life.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you
, (Proverbs 9:10-11).

Let us pray that we would truly grow in the fear of the Lord, that we would…

… live by faith in Him Who Offers Life.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness, (Psalm 33:18).

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

… live in obedience to Him Who Offers Life.

By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,
And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil, (Proverbs 16:6).

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, (2 Corinthians 7:1)

… live in the satisfaction and safety of the abundant life we receive from Him Who Offers Life.

The fear of the Lord leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil, (Proverbs 19:23).

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10).

Oh, may we never give in to the fear of man, that we would trust Christ for our salvation and live eternally protected in Him Who abolished death and Offers Life.

The fear of man is a snare,
but the one who trusts in the LORD is protected, (Proverbs 29:25 HCSB).

our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (2 Timothy

Let’s Grow Together!

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