Scripture reading – Jeremiah 37


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God’s Word Rejected a Second Time (Jeremiah 37:1-3) 

Our timeline moves from the reign of Jehoiakim (the third to the last king of Judah, Jeremiah 36:1) to Zedekiah (Jeremiah 37:1). Zedekiah succeeded Jeconiah as king after that king (known as Coniah or Jehoiachin) reigned for three months until he was deposed by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 37:1).

Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, continued the obstinance of Jehoiakim by rejecting “the words of the Lord, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah” (Jeremiah 37:2). With the army of Babylon laying siege to the city, the king appealed to Jeremiah requesting through his servants, “Pray now unto the Lord our God for us” (Jeremiah 37:3).


Warning: Don’t Put Your Confidence in Egypt (Jeremiah 37:4-10)

Fearless and faithful to his calling, Jeremiah “came in and went out among the people: they had not put him into prison” (Jeremiah 37:4). It was at that time the news, “Pharaoh’s army was come forth out of Egypt” (Jeremiah 37:5) reached Jerusalem. The Chaldean army withdrew from their siege against Jerusalem (Jeremiah 37:5), and some believed the city had been spared from destruction.

Jeremiah warned the king not to put his faith in Pharaoh’s army, for his soldiers would return to Egypt (Jeremiah 37:7). The prophet warned, don’t be deceived, for Babylon would come again and burn the city as the LORD had foretold (Jeremiah 37:8-10).

Arrested and Imprisoned (Jeremiah 37:11-21)

Arrested and Imprisoned (Jeremiah 37:11-21)

As he departed Jerusalem, Jeremiah was accused of treason, persecuted, and then imprisoned in a dungeon (Jeremiah 37:11-16). He suffered in the dungeon for many days until Zedekiah sought the prophet’s counsel in secret and asked if he had “any word from the LORD?” (Jeremiah 37:17).

The prophet answered the king, contending to know the crime he had committed that warranted his imprisonment (Jeremiah 37:18). He wisely questioned the king, asking where were the prophets who prophesied, “The king of Babylon shall not come against you nor against this land?” (Jeremiah 37:19)

Jeremiah then foretold that the king would not die in the siege on Jerusalem but would be removed to Babylon, where he would live out his days (Jeremiah 37:17). He then petitioned the king, asking to be removed from the dungeon lest he die there (Jeremiah 37:20). Zedekiah honored the prophet’s request and commanded that he be provided with a daily ration of bread (Jeremiah 37:21).


Closing thought –

I close today’s devotional by reminding myself that there are times when it is God’s will for His choicest servants to suffer. Jeremiah was hated, rejected, and endured persecution and imprisonment because he was a faithful servant and a preacher of God’s Word. The king and the nation despised the Word of God and hated His servant.  

Let all who love and serve the LORD remember:

“All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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