II Kin. 24:20-25:3; II Chron. 36:13-16; Jer. 52:3-6; 10:17-25; 21:1-22:9
In view of all of the destruction that had been prophesied by God’s prophets, Zedekiah continued to be defiant. He had been urged to surrender to Babylon in order to prevent the mass destruction of Jerusalem, but he refused. Instead of surrendering, Judah’s king rebelled against Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar and his army besieged the city and deprived them of the necessities of life.
Jeremiah had advised the people to gather their possessions in preparation for the exile that was before them, but they were not prepared. He had heard the words directly from the Lord and was distressed for the people and also for himself personally. They would cry out, but no one would help them. Even though his words were rejected, Jeremiah knew that, “The way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
Man has the tendency to rely upon self until calamity strikes him. Zedekiah realized that he needed help against Babylon and sent two of his men to Jeremiah to ask the Lord to take Nebuchadnezzar away from him. God refused. Even though Babylon and her gods would be the weapons of destruction, it was God who would allow it for His punishment of a rebellious people. However, there was still a way of escape. Those who remained in the city would die, but those who would surrender to Babylon would save their lives.
Jeremiah reviewed the reasons why God had turned His back upon His people. In summary, he stated, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and worshiped other gods and served them.”