May 15, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Jeremiah 37-41
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Context: King Zedekiah, who was placed on the throne by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, did not enjoy being under Babylon. He sought to free Judah by turning to Egypt and receiving help from the Egyptian pharaoh. Jeremiah, who was thrown into prison and accused of deserting the Babylonian army, was rescued when he was summoned by King Zedekiah. Zedekiah heard what the Lord said through Jeremiah, but he refused to listen. Jeremiah, while imprisoned still speaks the word of God, encouraging surrender to the Babylonians. He is viewed as a traitor and a demoralizing force for encouraging people not to fight. In chapter 38, we see that Zedekiah is a politician who tries to please everyone, meanwhile pleasing no one, and never making a firm decision. In all of Jeremiah's hardships, the Lord remembers him, and provides a means of salvation. The Lord can and does use whoever is necessary, even sinners such as the Babylonians! Jeremiah was treated well by the Babylonians and chose to stay in Judah, his home. Today's reading concludes with the assassination of Gedaliah, governor of the land, assigned by Nebuchadnezzar, by Ishmael.