Jeremiah 52:8 – But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.
Jeremiah 52:9 – Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him.
Jeremiah 52:10 – And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah.
Jeremiah 52:11 – Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
Hello readers, don’t get caught in God’s overtaking lane! I have been reading about king Zedekiah in the book of Jeremiah 38 and 39 recently. If you are not familiar with this part of scripture, it would be highly advantageous for you to read it for yourself. In it, you will see that Zedekiah was given such a gracious opportunity by God to be saved. Destruction was coming to Jerusalem, the reaper was coming for the sins of those in her… but there was a way out, God had provided a way to deliverance, and all he needed to do to be saved was obey what God told him by the mouth of Jeremiah the prophet.
If you read about Zedekiah in the book of Jeremiah, you’ll read about a king who did not obey God’s word primarily because of the fear of man. He was scared of what others might think and say about him. And as the Bible says in the book of Proverbs, the fear of man bringeth a snare. What a snare this king got caught in. Imagine going to hell forever because you are so scared of what someone else might think of you getting saved and following Jesus Christ in your life! What happened to Zedekiah in the end was absolutely horrible, but the worst part of it was that it didn’t need to be so, but it happened because he was scared of someone potentially making fun of him.
Zedekiah was told what was coming, and how to escape it, and what would happen if he did not obey God’s precise instruction for how to be saved. Hmm sounds like the gospel to us today. Zedekiah was told that there was just ONE way to be saved, but the problem was it just wasn’t the way he wanted and it didn’t quite suit him. In this wicked world that we live in today which rests under a shroud of coming wrath and judgment, God has graciously warned us of what is coming. The gospel isn’t just telling people about what is coming, but how to be saved from the wrath to come. Yes, our sins are that bad just as Judah’s were. But God is for you being saved, he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. And God so loved us that he sent his Son to die on the cross for us so we might be saved, so that we need not be overtaken by the curse that comes with living and dying without Christ.
Be sure the divine overtaking is coming to your life. Maybe you haven’t been overtaken by a life of disobedience and rebellion yet. Maybe you’re ahead at the moment… stds haven’t overtaken your fornication, lung cancer hasn’t overtaken your smoking, depression hasn’t overtaken your alcoholism, restlessness and unhappiness hasn’t overtaken your disobedience to God’s word, and hell hasn’t overtaken a life of rejecting Jesus Christ… but make no mistake… the truth of God’s word will catch you up and overtake you one day soon. Zedekiah thought he could outrun the judgment of God on horseback, but he could not, and neither will we.
Jeremiah had told Zedekiah in the previous chapter, if you just go forth to the princes of Babylon you and the city will be saved. Just surrender? Is it that hard. Is surrendering to the truth of God’s word that hard? But guess what, that would involved humbling himself. And he was too proud to humble himself. So we see in Zedekiah’s sad end two of the most tough and common things that stop people from being saved, which bring cursing over blessing… and they are the fear of man and pride. How many are in hell because of those two things? How many do not get saved because of those two chains on their soul and spirit!
What a chance Zedekiah had been given. He was told the very word of God. He needed but to trust and obey. God was good to Zedekiah, God was for Zedekiah’s salvation. I was reading just today a Psalm 30:5 which said “in his favor is life”. God is for you getting saved, God is for blessing you… and if you consider all the evil that Judah had done, and yet there was still a chance to be saved just by simply obeying God? Zedekiah truly looked a gift horse in the mouth.
What was Zedekiah really proud of anyway? What are we so proud of anyway? Is there anything we are or have or represent that is worthy of such pride? Was admitting to being wrong really so bad? Was surrendering to the truth of God’s word really that bad? Salvation requires brokenness, humility, obedience and surrender… but our pride stops that. We oppose our own salvation just like Zedekiah opposed his, we forsake our own mercy just like Zedekiah forsook his own mercy. He had mercy extended to him, but he did not take it. When you think about it , it was such a good deal. It’s not like Judah was that great. Judah was in disarray. Jerusalem their city was pathetic. God was departed from them. They had no strength or power, they really had nothing to be that proud of. Their nation was nothing, it had been brought to nothing by their sin and disobedience to God. Likewise our lives are a ruin and a wasteland… and yet we are still so proud!
For a while there, Zedekiah thought he could keep from being overtaken. He had his big walls, he had hope in Pharaoh’s army, he had hope in making his own way and being the author of his own destiny and writing his own script, he had hope in the speed of his own horses. But sure enough, one day Zedekiah got caught in God’s overtaking lane. It was a no contest.
Remember that Moses had promised way back by the word of the Lord in Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:” Doesn’t this sound like what happened to Zedekiah? A pretty big curse overtook Zedekiah that day. Imagine the last thing you see is your sons being killed, just before your eyes get gouged out and you’re led off the live the rest of your life in prison with that sight to think on for year after year. What a curse. What a curse comes with disobeying God! Moses had listed the many curses that would overtake Israel if they disobeyed God’s word. Read those curses for yourself… are any of those curses seeming to have overtaken your life? Have you been overtaken by a life of sin? God will bear down on you.
Amos had a message from God in Amos 9:10 “All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.” You think a life of sin won’t overtake you in the end? That’s a poor gamble, friend. Being overtaken is a sure thing. The Bible says in Psalm 18:37 “I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.” God will overtake you. His word will prevail, truth will triumph, justice will be done, and if you are not saved, that Christ rejecting life, that willful choosing of ignorance and darkness and lies will catch you and make you pay. Runner sinner run… and you may run like Cain, a vagabond and fugitive in the earth from God… but one day you will face the reaper and what will be left then?
See, for most people, it’s all reaping but no plowing. There’s nothing left of their life, sin has reaped them to the point of where they are just like Zedekiah must have felt, a shell of a man sitting in a prison who cannot see. How much must Satan take from you, how much must sin cost you?
You do not have to be overtaken. Neither now in your current life, nor for eternity. But yet it is clear that many people will be overtaken in the end, for the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:4 “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Think of those who died in Noah’s flood, one day they were overtaken by the flood waters. One day that life of sin caught them up and overtook them. Those who died in Sodom, they were overtaken by their rebellion and wickedness. Noone will escape.
So what is the solution? Well Amos says how in Amos 9:11 “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:” Did you know the principles of revival are in this verse? The solution is raising up we let fall. Look at our nation, which has forsaken and forgotten God. That’s why our nation has been overtaken by lies, corruption, darkness, confusion, envy, lust, greed… because we had forsaken the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s work is raising what is fallen and in ruin, closing up what has been breached, and building as in the days of old. The old time salvation, the old time faith, the old time book is still the solution in the day in which we live.
It is possible to be a Christian and be overtaken. The Bible says in Galatians 6:1 ” Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. ” We are all prone to being overtaken and needing rescuing. That’s what other believers are for, so we encourage and help each other not to be overtaken by the lies of the devil, the flesh and this dark world. The Bible has been written, and you’ve been told, so you do not need to be overtaken by the wrath and judgment of God, so you do not have to be overtaken by the reaper. The plowman will overtake the reaper one day, put the reaper out of business by getting in the book, and instead we can build happy, successful and blessed lives built on the foundation of the truth of God’s word. Zedekiah should’ve just obeyed the word of God, it was his only way out, it was the only way for him not to be overtaken in God’s divine overtaking lane of justice and judgment.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)