An excuse for a man
The brave words of a crumby king:
‘He is in your hands,’ King Zedekiah answered. ‘The king can do nothing to oppose you.’
Imagine today’s political leaders stepping back and abandoning their duty! Leaving us high and dry!
Here was a king who used the excuse in Jeremiah 38.5, similar to a shrug of the shoulders, “Well, that’s life!”, to excuse himself for his inaction in the protection of the prophet Jeremiah.
When we abandon our duty, our calling, and our sense of right and wrong, we follow in the same slippery path.
This man, Zedekiah, was perfectly able to intervene, after all, he had authority from the great Nebuchadnezzar to be the king of Judah. But he chose not to use it.
Secretly he was delighted that someone else was going to do his dirty work for him – Jeremiah had been a pain in the neck for a long time – this would potentially be rid of him once for all! And then he could arrest the murderers as if he disapproved! That was a plan.
When we step back from situations where we could – and should – intervene we are using the same mental process as this faulty king. Let’s think again.
We need to be honest with ourselves, and admit we lack courage or will to get hands on with the situation, and we need to be open with our motives and stand up for what we believe.
Today we may want to take the easy route out of a tricky moment, and often we will do that simply by oversight, but honesty and integrity demands that we act: with wisdom, in truth, and in love.
As a footnote, we see Zedekiah did reveal some backbone later in the chapter. Read it yourself!