Jeremiah 21:1-22:9

Jun 5, 2024    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the LORD: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and shall have his life as a prize of war.’” (Jeremiah 21:8–9, ESV)


The time for avoiding judgment had passed. God would now “lower the boom.” The Chaldeans (Babylonians) were outside Jerusalem, and the city would soon fall. The people would be taken captive to Babylon. There was nothing they could do to avert this disaster. But God gave them the opportunity to save their own skin. He set before them the way of life and the way of death. If they would surrender to the Babylonians, then God would spare their lives. But if they fought the Babylonians, then God Himself would fight against them, and they would die by the sword, by famine, or by pestilence (disease).


The same is true for each of us. God sets before each person the way of life and the way of death. We must each choose which way we will go.


“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13–14, ESV)


These are sobering words spoken by our Lord. We must choose the way of life by entering through the narrow gate. That gate is Jesus Himself, and relatively speaking, only a few enter eternal life through faith in Him. Most people will not surrender their lives to God and will not obey His commandment to believe in the One whom He has sent. Surrender is so simple that a child can do it. In fact, we must all be converted and become like children in humility and dependency in order to enter heaven. But most people will not do this. They insist on going their own way. They fight to the bitter end, but in fact they are fighting against God, and they are doomed to lose.


The way of life or the way of death. Surrender or resistance. Which way will you choose?