The Nation of Israel was one of the smaller kingdoms in the ancient world. They served a different God from all other nations and had their own way of life which was different to the rest of the world. To keep their faith pure and free from pagan influences they seperated themselves from the other nations. They could however not totally isolate themselves from the other people around them. These kingdoms were dependent on each other for natural resources and technology. The other nations around them were like good friends and once a year in spring they would fight each other and be back at home in time to plant the fields. War with your neighbours was like a game and created some excitement in an otherwise dull existence. Unfortunately some arrogant Jews believed they were superior to other people because of their faith in the only living almighty God.
Relying on word of mouth there was no mechanism to investigate international political movements. Totally unaware of world events they were unprepared for big invasions. Information about the growth in power of the Persian empire reached them too late. One day, out of the blue, the Persians arrived at their doorstep. Greatly advanced in military, administrative and political skill, these people cleverly started to take over the whole ancient Middle East. Regardless of the macro political movements in the region the King of Israel and his arrogant administrators, still thought they could get out of this terrible situation because of their religion. Their perceived superiority gave them the idea they would be saved by a miracle of some sort or whatever other reason they had in mind!
One evening the prophet Jeremiah had a meeting with Zedekiah the last remaining king of Judah, (this was a remnant of Israel). He told Zedekiah to surrender and give up. By doing this he will save his women, children and his own life. He will also prevent the city from being burned down and plundered. Jeremiah 38 : 14 – 27.
Zedekiah arrived at one of the most desperate decisions in life and that was to realize and accept defeat. Initially the idea of our downfall is a huge shock and we will rarely see it as something that we can embrace or accept. Unfortunately in rare situations in order to save our life we will have to give up all that is dear and precious to us. When the facts are clear it is better to accept your fate and act accordingly. Your current rout could be a temporary setback and there could still be hope after the incident. Jeremiah told the king that his and his family’s lives would be spared if he surrenders. Zedekiah sadly could not embrace his defeat. He was concerned about many unimportant things like the reaction from his officials and he was also worried about the treatment he would get from own forces who deserted him to join the Persians.
It was very hard for him to give up and call it a day. Even when the prophet begged him to hand himself over to the Persian officials he still could not make the decision to surrender. Regrettably he was captured and taken to the Persian capital. His eyes were pierced and he died a horrible death in Babylon. His children and wives were all killed. His whole country was plunged into chaos and destruction, something that could have been prevented and managed in a much more amicable way!
My hope is that you will have the wisdom to know when to give up! As believers we will always be close to God and even if we surrender we must remember that when we reach that point, we actually put ourselves totally and unconditionally into the hands of God.
n lifestyle22 we surrender when we reach a point of collapse.
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