ISSL Reflections May 16, 2021 Jeremiah 38:14-23 Post 3

This week’s passage can be found at –

The more I look at King Zedekiah and more I listen to him, the more questions I have.

He seeks out the advice or better the counsel of the prophet Jeremiah. But he doesn’t incorporate that counsel into his actions.

Does he simply misunderstand Jeremiah? To me that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s not a problem of the actual physical hearing the words of Jeremiah.

Maybe he is like others who want to hear advice from many perspectives and then decide what is best to do? I guess that could be.

I doubt he has a problem understanding the import of Jeremiah’s vision. His reaction suggests to me he fully sees where it would take him.

What about how he reacts to the advice from his officials or from Ebed-melech? Does he always do whatever someone tells him to do? In these two classes he goes back and forth from agreeing to Jeremiah’s death and then to a plan to save him.

Why? Does he want to be able to hear from Jeremiah after all? But then he doesn’t follow the path Jeremiah offers him.

All this leads me to wonder what is at the core of King Zedekiah’s character? What is his deepest desire and hope?

What is his hope for himself?

And for that matter since he is the King, what is his hope for his nation?

Then again, maybe at the center of his being he is more concerned about himself and his safety and his future than that of the nation or maybe anyone else.

When we look at an account like this one, we may be led to ask such questions of an individual like King Zedekiah (or even Ebed-melech or Jeremiah), but does it lead us to ask such questions about ourselves?

Perhaps I need to ask myself do I have an anchor that holds fast when I am faced with decisions? Or, do I simply act on the loudest or last thing I hear?

Now that I write that out, it seems to make me a little uncomfortable to have the question before me.

What about you?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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