Mat 7:7 - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

1Jo 5:14 - ...if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
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The Fall of Zedekiah

  1. The fall of Jerusalem and the end of the kingdom of Judah was a sad time period.
  1. Josiah was the last good king of Israel, and the kings that ruled after him did evil.
  1. II Kings 24:8-12 - King Jehoiachin began his reign at the age of 18. He lasted 3 months before Nebuchadnezzar came, besieged Jerusalem for 8 years, and led all the elite into captivity.
  2. II Kings 24:17-20 - Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, was placed on the throne by Nebu.
    1. Yet Zedekiah rebelled against God and against the king who gave him the throne.
    2. II Chron. 36:11-17 lists the sins of Zedekiah
  1. Zedekiah refused to accept the Pronouncements of God
  1. Jer. 27:1-11 - God warned him his only hope was in submitting to Nebuchadnezzar.
  1. Many prophets willing to tell the king he would succeed in throwing off the yoke of Babylon.
  1. Jeremiah pleads w/king, priests and people to listen to God, ignore the false prophets. (Jer. 27:12-22)
  1. Zedekiah preferred their message.
  2. (Jer.28) - Even when one of the more vocal false prophets, Hananiah, died in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy, proving that Jeremiah spoke for God, still Zedekiah did not listen.
    1. There was no rational reason for listening to the false prophets, but Zedekiah did.
    2. Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar came to collect against his rebellious king
  1. Zedekiah hoped for a miracle – Jer. 21:1-10
  1. It is interesting that Zedekiah’s messenger is Pashhur. Pashhur was the priest who earlier had Jeremiah beaten for prophesying the fall of Jerusalem – Jer. 19:14-20:2
  1. I wonder if Zedekiah was trying to intimidate Jeremiah or simply was unthinking.
  2. Jeremiah’s message was that Zedekiah’s only hope was to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar.
  1. Zedekiah made a show of pleasing God. The law required the release of all slaves on the year of Jubilee. This Zedekiah commanded, but then had all the slaves put back into slavery – Jer. 34:8-17.
  1. The Lord was not pleased by this shallow display of contempt/mocking His will.
  2. Zedekiah was not a man of his word.
  1. Zedekiah made deal with Egyptians to rescue Judah, but God would not let it succeed – Jer. 37:1-10
  1. The Egyptians retreated.
  2. The Israelites did get a small break from seige while the Babylonians drove off the Egyptians.
  3. Jeremiah, was arrested as he was about to leave the city - Jer. 37:11-16
  1. Zedekiah looked for a way out, but he wanted it on his terms
  1. Jer. 37:17-21 - Zedekiah brings Jeremiah to him
  1. Imprisonment a chance occurrence?
    1. It appears Zedekiah is trying to pressure Jeremiah to give him the answer he wanted.
  1. He later allowed men to attempt to kill Jeremiah – Jer. 38:1-6
  2. He then “rescued” Jeremiah at the urging of a good man – Jer. 38:7-13
  3. Zedekiah again calls Jeremiah in for a private word – Jer. 38:14-23
  1. The final siege of Jerusalem began in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. It lasted over two years.
  1. After the first year, Zedekiah has Jeremiah thrown back into prison - Jeremiah 32:1-5
  1. He still refused to believe the message of Jeremiah. He wanted a different prophecy.
  2. The siege became so severe that people were eating their own children - Jeremiah 52:6
  3. During the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, the outer wall of Jerusalem was breeched.
  4. After all the warnings, Zedekiah did a cowardly thing. He took a select group of armed men and sneaked out of the city. - Jeremiah 52:7
    1. Because of his stubbornness, Jerusalem was sieged. People died.
    2. Now when it was certain the city would fall, Zedekiah was going to leave the city to the enemies!
    • He did not get very far, only about 15 miles - Jeremiah 52:8-11
    • Thus he fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel - Ezekiel 13:12-13
  1. What do we learn?
  1. Man cannot change the will of God. The intimation of God’s messengers did not change the message.
  2. They mocked the message, but the result remained, destruction for disobedience.
  3. Today, The judgment of God has been pronounced on this world - II Peter 3:3-12
  1. People have tried to legislate religion so they and their children do not need to hear the message.
  2. Christianity is spoken of negatively in many areas of our country.
  3. Churches are changing their message to soothe the people. Let the Spirit Lead You!
  4. They only play at religion, much like Zedekiah, but it doesn’t change their lives.
  • But nothing has changed. The end is fixed and we know the outcome.
  1. Are We going to be like Zedekiah?
  1. Trying to force the answer we want or will we humble ourselves before God and submit to His will? 

I. - Here’s a little story about a man named Zed,

II. - Wouldn’t listen, to what the Prophet Said,

III. - Looked for a miracle or sign Instead,

IV. - Wanted help from Egypt, or Jeremiah’s head.

V. - Zed… Fled…. Blinded then Dead.