Jeremiah 38:16-17
“But King Zedekiah swore this oath secretly to Jeremiah: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has given us breath, I will neither kill you nor hand you over to those who want to kill you.” Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel says: “If you surrender to the officers of the King of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live.” 
Why was Zedekiah’s oath to Jeremiah a secret? It reveals something in the heart of the king, that he was concealing this conversation with the prophet from his own officials and people. The kingdom was under attack by the Babylonians, but the king was more concerned about the reaction and opinions of the people around him.
Jeremiah told him that his life could be saved, but it would require a shift in his thinking. Instead of making decisions based on fear of what the people would think, he needed to get a lot more concerned about the impending judgement of God in his life. 
It’s easy to let my thinking and my motives get twisted around. It’s easy to slip into the trap of making decisions based on fear of what people think. This passage challenges me to take a hard look at my motives and choices. If I am making decisions based on anything other than God’s guidance, destruction will be the result. Even when I have incurred God’s judgement in my life–there is still mercy, if I submit to his discipline and align my heart with him. I must always fear God’s displeasure more than the criticism of man, and seek first his approval rather than the approval of others.
God, help me to align my heart with yours, and surrender to your authority in my life rather than being ruled by fear of others. Even when I experience your discipline, help me to run to you instead of running away. Thank you for your mercy, your love, and your truth. 
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