Surrender

Read: Jeremiah 38:14-18

If you will surrender . . . then your life shall be spared. (v. 17)

Although I’ve never needed this advice, I read recently that one of the best ways to avoid a kidnapping is to fight back and make a lot of noise, in order to make it as difficult as possible to be taken. In short: don’t surrender.

However, God told the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do the opposite. The Babylonian army had besieged the city. Jeremiah said the last thing Zedekiah and his people expected to hear: “If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire” (v. 17). God insisted that the exile to Babylon was his plan. His people’s only hope for salvation was surrender, because in surrendering to Babylon, they were surrendering to God.

Surrender is the only right response to God’s will, following the commands of the Bible, in every situation keeping in mind that we belong to God, trusting that his saving purposes are in effect even when life is hard. Quoting a proverb, James wrote, “‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God” (James 4:6-7).

Surrendering to God does not guarantee that everything will go smoothly. But it does grant the peace of knowing that our lives are unfolding according to his perfect will. The most secure life is a life of surrender to the God who saves. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, offer yourself to God, accept his guidance, and expect his intervention.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.

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