The word that came to mind as I read this chapter was "surrender." Yahweh tells the kings of the countries that have led His people into idolatry and sexual perversion that Nebuchadnezzar will attack each of them. Their only hope for survival is to surrender before he attacks and trust the heathen king to do whatever he deems best. These prideful leaders are going to struggle with that command, because they see themselves as fully prepared for attack. The king of Judah is given the same warning, and he, too, will rebel against God's command to surrender to the superpower before it destroys you. Pride stops us from surrendering our lives fully to the Lord, and sin keeps us in rebellion to any changes God wants to make. At this point, their only hope is to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar and hope he does right by them. Surrender does not come with a guarantee of any kind unless Yahweh is involved. He promises that their cities will not be destroyed and the temple will continue to stand. Jeremiah tells the people to stop listening to the false prophets who speak lies and give them a false sense of security. If they surrender, they might survive, but if they do not, then God will bring famine, drought, and certain doom upon them. We, too, are not fans of surrender. We like to be in control or at least think we are in control, but the truth is right in front of our faces. We cannot defeat the enemy; we cannot stand against temptation; we cannot build strong marriages or raise godly children; we cannot; therefore, we must surrender to the One who can. Just as the Almighty could cause Nebuchadnezzar to show grace to those who surrendered, God can change our whole outlook on life and accomplish what we see as impossible if we will simply surrender our lives to Him.

Help me, Lord, to stop living in pride and selfish ambition and to surrender my life fully to You and to Your plan. Help me to surrender voluntarily before I am forced to surrender by an enemy that is stronger than me.