Jerusalem was under siege. King Zedekiah feared for his life. Jeremiah had been imprisoned in Benjamin, then rescued by the king only to be thrown into a cistern because he prophesied the true words of the LORD against Jerusalem. Egypt had left her gates, but Babylon would soon be there, again. The LORD told Jeremiah if the king would only turn himself and his house over to the Chaldeans, he would live. But Zedekiah feared those Jews who had already “gone over to the Chaldeans”. He feared he would be given over for torture. Jeremiah assured him, if he obeyed the LORD, he would live.
What is keeping you from obeying the Lord?
What is it you may be fearing today? What is the LORD calling you to do? Is He calling you to go against what you feel and think and trust Him and His ways? Will obeying the Lord cost you? Obedience to the LORD always costs us something, but the rewards of obedience are life-giving.
“Please obey the LORD in what I am saying to you, that it may go well with you and you may live.” Jeremiah 38:20b NASB
Jesus is calling you to obedience
Jesus called you or is calling you. He may be calling you to leave the life you are living now to venture into a ministry He is preparing for you, or perhaps He is calling you to forgive someone who offended you. You have a choice. If you ignore this call, what will be the consequence? In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is giving the Law to the generation that will enter the promised land. He gives the blessings and the curses. The blessings are a result of obedience. And obviously, the curses are a consequence of disobedience.
So, if Jesus is calling you to forgiveness and you don’t forgive, what is the “curse”? In Matthew 6:12-15, He states “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
Or, perhaps Jesus is inviting you into a new ministry and your doubts or your way of life are holding you back. What then? In Matthew 19:16-22 we see a rich young man come to Jesus and ask Him what he must do to attain eternal life. Jesus tells him later in their conversation that he lacked one thing and to sell everything he owned, give the money to the poor, and follow Him. The young man left downhearted because he had many possessions. The “curse” for this young man? He lost out on a new way of life with Jesus.
The consequences for disobedience
Jerusalem was under siege. King Zedekiah feared for his life. Jeremiah told him what the LORD had said, surrender to the king of Babylon and he would live, but the king and his army fled from Jerusalem at night and were overcome by Nebuchadnezzar’s men. King Zedekiah’s men were slaughtered, and he was blinded and taken away in chains.
Please obey the LORD
Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep My commandments.” Another term for keep is obey.
Please obey the LORD, that it may go well for you and you may live.