Even if someone swears to listen to the word, he may still lie

Jeremiah Bible Background

11.04.2016 – Old Testament: Jer 38.14–16

To read the Bible in a year, read Jeremiah 38–39 on November 4, In the year of our Lord 2016

By Don Ruhl

Apparent signs of humility might be nothing more than a facade for a person to manipulate you. Words sound good, but the life has to show the sincerity of the words. Consider the king of Judah, who had this exchange with Jeremiah,

Then Zedekiah the king sent and had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third entrance of the house of the LORD. And the king said to Jeremiah, “I will ask you something. Hide nothing from me.” Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, “As the LORD lives, who made our very souls, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life” (Jeremiah 38.14–16). 

Jeremiah had suspicions that the king did not mean what he said, but then the king sought to reassure Jeremiah that he would listen to him. However, as the rest of the story shows, Jeremiah’s suspicions had been correct, and the king’s apparent humility and willingness to submit to the Lord were false.


  • Have you sought the Lord’s word, but on the assumption that it would be favorable to you?
  • Has someone consulted you on the assumption that the Lord’s word would favor them?

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