ninth inning miracle
Jeremiah 21:1-10 (JDV)
Jeremiah 21:1 The word that was to Jeremiah from Yahveh when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malchijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, asking,
Jeremiah 21:2 “Inquire now about Yahveh on our behalf, since King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is making war against us. Maybe Yahveh will do for us something like all his past wondrous works so that Nebuchadnezzar will withdraw from us.”
Jeremiah 21:3 But Jeremiah said, “This is what you are to say to Zedekiah:
Jeremiah 21:4 ‘This is what Yahveh, the God of Israel, says: I am about to repel the weapons of war in your hands, those you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging1 you outside the wall, and I will bring them into the center of this city.
Jeremiah 21:5 I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a strong arm, with anger, rage, and intense wrath.
Jeremiah 21:6 I will strike the residents of this city, both people and animals. They will die in a severe plague.
Jeremiah 21:7 Afterward – this is what Yahveh declares – King Zedekiah of Judah, his officers, and the people – those in this city who survive the plague, the sword, and the famine – I will hand over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to their enemies, yes, to those who intend to take their lives. He will put them to the sword; he won’t spare them or show pity or compassion.’
Jeremiah 21:8 “But tell this people, ‘This is what Yahveh says: Look, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.
Jeremiah 21:9 Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live and will retain his life like the spoils of war.
Jeremiah 21:10 You see, I have set my face against this city to bring disaster and not good – this is what Yahveh declares. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, who will burn it.’
ninth inning miracle
Read carefully in today’s text because it is very easy to miss something. You see the name Pashhur in verse 1 and you think that the conflict of the previous chapter is continuing. But notice that this is Pashhur son of Malchijah, not Pashhur son of Immer. In fact, we have been transported in time 20 years. We are witnessing the final stages of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. King Zedekiah has been reigning for ten years, and he had been leading a lost cause.
So, Zedekiah sends his officials to consult with Jeremiah, to see if God would be willing to pull off a ninth inning miracle, and save the city and the nation.
God’s answer through Jeremiah was no. There would be no ninth inning miracle this time. God’s word to the people of Jerusalem was that if they wanted to save their lives, they would have to abandon the city, because it was going to fall.
It is human nature for us to seek the last minute rescue. We love it when the bomb is diffused in the last second, when the train tracks are crossed just before the train plows through. But God is free to ignore us at the last minute, especially if we have chosen to ignore him for twenty years or more.
Lord, give us the courage to be the miracle we expect. May our lives stay committed to you throughout the whole game.
 צור = besiege. Jeremiah 21:4, 9; 32:2; 37:5; 39:1.
Books by Jefferson Vann