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Quiet Time in Jeremiah 21

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Jeremiah 21 (HCSB)

Zedekiah’s Request Denied

21 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malchijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah, asking, 2 “Ask the Lord on our behalf, since Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will perform for us something like all His past wonderful works so that Nebuchadnezzar will withdraw from us.”

3 But Jeremiah answered, “This is what you are to say to Zedekiah: 4 ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will repel the weapons of war in your hands, those you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall, and I will bring them into the center of this city. 5 I will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, with anger, rage, and great wrath. 6 I will strike the residents of this city, both man and beast. They will die in a great plague. 7 Afterward’”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“‘King Zedekiah of Judah, his officers, and the people—those in this city who survive the plague, the sword, and the famine—I will hand over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to their enemies, yes, to those who want to take their lives. He will put them to the sword; he won’t spare them or show pity or compassion.’

A Warning for the People

8 “But you must say to this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am presenting to you the way of life and the way of death. 9 Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live and will retain his life like the spoils of war. 10 For I have turned against this city to bring disaster and not good’”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “‘It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, who will burn it down.’

11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say this: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 12 House of David, this is what the Lord says:

Administer justice every morning, and rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor, or My anger will flare up like fire and burn unquenchably because of their evil deeds.

13 Beware! I am against you, you who sit above the valley, you atop the rocky plateau—

this is the Lord’s declaration—

you who say, “Who can come down against us? Who can enter our hiding places?”

14 I will punish you according to what you have done—

this is the Lord’s declaration.

I will kindle a fire in its forest that will consume everything around it.’”


SIN (verse 2): For many years I would pray selfish prayers without truly committing to You, just like the people of Judah. They were massively sinful and living against God’s will for their lives, but they still prayed for and expected a miracle from You, Father. This was me for so long. I would live my life however I wanted to live it, yet when trials and difficult times came before me, I would say a selfish prayer to You only in those moments asking for Your help through those difficult times. Please forgive me for selfishly seeking You only when I felt like doing so, Father. Forgive me for not pursuing You through all things in my life so that I not only knew Your will for me, but also tried my best to live in it. Forgive me for only coming to You when I felt overwhelmed in this life, Father.

PROMISE (verse 9): You always seem to give us a way out of our sinful ways, Father. For the people of Judah, although You were committed to destroying the city of Judah via Babylon’s strength, You still gave the sinful people a way out. You promised them that if they stayed in Judah in their sinful ways that they would surely meet death; if they left Judah and surrendered themselves, however, then You would spare them, and they would continue to live this life. Thank You for always providing us with a way out of our own destructive paths, Father. Thank You for always being there for us to guide us to a better way than the one we often selfishly choose for ourselves.

ATTITUDE (verse 2): This verse is still speaking loudly to me, Father. Going back to my confession, please help me to have an unselfish attitude in this life when it comes to my faith walk with You, Father. Help me to have a more consistent prayer life where I am reaching out to You for counsel and wisdom through all things and not just when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Help me to be so involved in Your word, that I rely on Your counsel and instruction to show me the way I am to be living on a daily basis. Help my daily default attitudes align with Your way of living this life, so that I do not stray from You again and only come to You in selfish moments.

COMMAND (verse 12): I interpret this verse as being similar to Luke 9:23 that states “then He said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me’” (HCSB). You tell Judah in this verse to administer justice EVERY morning and to rescue the victims of robbery from the oppressors, else Your anger will flare up because of their evil deeds. Although in different verbiage, I do believe You are essentially telling me the exact same things here, Father. You are commanding us to repent of our evil ways daily, cleansing ourselves from those mistakes of the past and present, while hopefully reducing the mistakes of our future as we become more in line with Your will for our lives. Help me to be better at this, Father, so that I go to You daily to cleanse myself of my evil ways, slowly but surely becoming more in line with Your will for my life as I progress in this faith journey with You in my life.

EXAMPLE (verses 4-7): Although an extremely tough task that was given to Jeremiah here, he does provide us with an amazing example to live by. We must trust that the messages, word, truths, counsel, and instruction You are giving to us is worth of being spoken. That is what Jeremiah shows us a great example of here. The people of Judah are coming to him to ask him to pray to “his God” to perform another miracle for them to save them. Jeremiah relays a very convicting and hard revelation from You to them that You will do no such thing. He takes Your wisdom, counsel, and truth that You gave to Him and relays the message without fear of the repercussions even though the message You told him to relay is a harsh one of damnation. Help me to live more like Jeremiah, so I am not fearful when the time comes for me to speak Your truths, Father. Remind me daily that nothing this world can do to me or for me is worthy of me being afraid to speak or do the things You want me to speak or do in this life, Father.

*DAILY NOTE: This Scripture was a tough read for me today, Father. When I look at Judah, I see myself and how I’ve lived my life for so long. I have purposely lived in a way contradictory to how You want me to live for so long, yet when I become overwhelmed or things don’t go my way due to my sinful nature, that’s when I decide to go to You for help. It would be like me only going to work to get an income when the “final notice” statements come through for taking my home/car away or when I’m so hungry that I’m hospitalized due to malnutrition. Why have I been so stubborn and selfish for so long in my faith walk with You, Father? Help me to remember that I can only be even remotely close to Your will for my life through consistency; consistency in prayer, quiet times, reading Your words, understanding Your truths, and reliance on You for all things that come before me in this life. Help me to live in a way that honors and glorifies You, Father, so that I do not continue to live like Judah has in this Scripture. Thank You for always being there for me even though I often feel I have strayed away from You too many times to be deserving of coming back to Your open and loving arms. Thank You for never giving up on me, Father.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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