Jeremiah 37-39 traces the events during the final siege and fall of Jerusalem. King Jehoiakim died on the way to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:6), and his son, Jehoiachin, was appointed king, but he was taken captive to Babylon three months later. Then, Nebuchadnezzar appointed the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, to sit as a vassal king on the throne (2 Kings 24:15-17).
Sadly, Zedekiah and his people did not listen to the word of the Lord through Jeremiah and just wanted him to pray that God would grant victory to their allies, the Egyptians, so that Babylon would get out of Palestine and leave them alone! But God's word through Jeremiah predicted that this would not happen, and Jerusalem would be burned.
In the second half of the chapter, Jeremiah was falsely accused of going over to the side of the Babylonians when he went to divide up some land. This land should not be confused with the land he purchased in Jeremiah 32. The events in Jeremiah 37 took place before the events in Jeremiah 32.
Jeremiah was beaten and thrown into an underground cistern that had been converted into a prison where he remained a long time until Zedekiah secretly sent for him in hopes of hearing a good word from the Lord, but Jeremiah had only bad news for the king.
After Jeremiah's protest of his innocence and petition for better treatment (Jeremiah was in his 60's at the time), Zedekiah transferred him to the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace where he was treated more humanely.
Jeremiah was persecuted for speaking truth. Persecution for proclaiming and believing in the truth still goes on today, and we can stand in the gap for some of our brothers and sisters around the world. Please take some time to pray for those who are persecuted by going to the prayer requests on the Voice of the Martyrs website.
Lord, Your Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, it pierces as far as the division of both soul and spirit, joint and marrow, and it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). That is why it is such a threat to the kingdom of darkness and that kingdom persecutes and seeks to burn and destroy just like Zedekiah who burned Your Word of truth spoken through Jeremiah.
Lord, help us to speak truth in spite of the persecution, and we lift up our brave brothers and sisters throughout the world who are being persecuted for speaking and believing in the truth. Give them an unwavering awareness of Your powerful presence, and we pray that You would be glorified and exalted through their lives. We ask this in the name of the One who suffered more than any of us, Jesus. Amen.