King Zedekiah had a keen sense of God's presence and, time and again, he called for Jeremiah to hear what God had to say. He didn't like what he heard. "Surrender to Nebuchadnezzar and live," Jeremiah said. "If you do not, Jerusalem will be destroyed and you will not escape."
Consider how hard it would be for one king to surrender to another. Not the most honorable thing, right? Zedekiah watched a few Israelites move to Babylon and they lived. Some stayed in Jerusalem and some escaped to Egypt where they died by famine or sword. The king rejected God and chose to stick it out in Jerusalem. The Babylonians laid siege against the city for two years in which Zedekiah had many chances to change his mind. He did not and Nebuchadnezzar burned the city to the ground and captured the king. The last thing he saw was the murder of his sons. Then Nebuchadnezzar gouged out his eyes and put him in heavy bronze shackles until he died.
What would Jesus say? The answer is in Matthew 10:39. "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Surrender takes humility and faith, and that is what Jesus requires. He gave His life so we could be forgiven and live with Him forever. How can we give Him any less?
Jesus comforts us with His words in Matthew 11:28-30. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Although King Zedekiah had an awareness of God's presence, he did not like what God required and died for his choice to stay in Jerusalem.
Do you know a relationship with Jesus? If not, don't discount an awareness that you might have that He is near. I had the awareness more than twenty years ago and it caused me to call on the name of Jesus and surrender. It was a good thing. I asked God to help me live more like Jesus and He changed my heart and my life.
Lord Jesus, I pray for the person reading this post, that he would experience your amazing, life-changing love. Amen.