We can sense how others perceived Jeremiah. He was a traitor bent on the surrender of Jerusalem to the Chaldeans. He was causing division within the ranks and was using religious sounding speech to dishearten the masses. Left at liberty, he would use highly visual grandstanding techniques such as wooden yokes and ancient vessels to invoke dissent. The word was out on him. Imprisoned, Jeremiah would of course not be stopped, but, at least perhaps contained; his where-abouts known.
In the end, the Lord has still given the king a choice. He can surrender himself without a fight and live or he can fight and die and his household be mercilessly brutalized. We like to think that freedom of choice always involves something more than that. Look at Jeremiah the prophet of God. What choices did he have remaining? He had done just as God had said; where is his safe out? What makes us think that somewhere there is a better outcome? That we can negotiate or force our way into some dreamy personal victory or acceptable compromise? Most often, the only choices we have are the choices left to us.
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