14 October 2011

"Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, 'Do not let anyone else know of this conversation, or you will die.'" (v. 24)


Another confidential consultation takes place between Zedekiah and Jeremiah. Compare this with the confidential consultation between Nicodemus and Jesus (John 3:1-21).

Understandably, Jeremiah obtains assurances that the king will not harm him for telling the truth as he sees it. And the truth he sees is simple: the fall of Jerusalem is imminent; the only way forward for Zedekiah is to capitulate before the might of Babylon's army; if he does not agree to this, then the fate of Jerusalem and all her inhabitants is sealed.

Zedekiah may well accept this, but his political position is very weak; the court officials are too powerful to be defied. Nothing more is done until the city falls.

To Ponder

Much has been said recently about confidentiality: journalists protect their sources; priests maintain the secrecy of the confessional; government ministers consult their officials 'in confidence'. When is strict confidentiality justified, and when might it not be?

It is very hard to admit you were wrong and ask for help. How do you dig yourself out of the hole into which your obstinacy has lured you?

What are the pressures on you that seem to leave you little choice but to let go of your deepest convictions? Where do you find the resources to remain faithful?

Bible notes author: The Revd Dr John Ogden

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