A Fearful King

Bible:

King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me.” Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.” Then King Zedekiah swore secretly to Jeremiah, “As the Lord lives, who made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of these men who seek your life.”

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.” King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they deal cruelly with me.” Jeremiah said, “You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared. Jeremiah 38:14-20 ESV

Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:1-4 ESV

Reflection:

Lucy was pretending to be a doctor who helps people with problems in their mind, and her brother Linus was telling her his problems. He said that he was afraid all the time, and Lucy said that she wanted to figure out what he was afraid of. Was he afraid of responsibility, or cats, or staircases, or the ocean, or of crossing bridges? Or maybe he had a problem called pantophobia. Lucy asked Linus if he thought he might have pantophobia–the fear of everything! Linus decided that that was his problem. He was fearful and worried about everything.

King Zedekiah was also fearful and worried about everything. He was worried about the Babylonian army that was threatening Jerusalem. He was afraid to surrender to them because he was worried about his own people who had deserted to the Babylonians. He was afraid of the leaders of the people in Jerusalem. King Zedekiah didn’t know what to do, so he talked to the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah told him that it was the Lord’s will for him to surrender to the Babylonians, and that God would protect him and spare his life if he did that. Zedekiah wouldn’t have to be afraid if he would only trust God and follow his will.

We also often worry and are afraid of many things. We don’t always know what to do or where to turn. But we can always go to God, our Heavenly Father, for help, and he will guide us and take care of us in the way that is best. He guides us through his word, the Bible, to know what pleases him. When we faced the worst of troubles, sin and death, he sent Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be God’s children. Because of Jesus, we can be sure that God is always with us, and always hears our prayers and helps us in our troubles.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, please help us and take care of us in our troubles. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Source:

Shultz, Charles M. The Complete Peanuts, 1961-1962 Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2006, p. 67.

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