Secret Christian

Secret Christian

Written by Colette Fabry

“Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him (Jeremiah) out: and the king asked secretly in his house and said “Is there any word from the LORD?” Jeremiah 37:17

I walked into a store one Sunday morning. The elderly clerk, noticing my dress, asked if I had been at church. I told her I had, and she whispered, “I’m a secret Christian.” I whispered back, “What’s a secret Christian?” She continued, “It’s when no one knows.”

Reading about King Zedekiah reminded me of this incident. He didn’t want anyone to know that he was inquiring about God. He called for the prophet Jeremiah in secret and asked, “Is there any word from the Lord?”, but he refused to obey or listen. What had happened in his life? His father, King Josiah, was a godly man who did right in God’s sight, destroying idols and leading righteously.

But Josiah’s three boys, all raised to know God, chose to do evil. God was patient with Josiah’s son, Zedekiah. He gave him plenty of time to repent, to see what happens when someone rebels against God. Zedekiah watched his two brothers reign before him and saw the results of sin and rebellion. He saw prophets and righteous kings throughout his life who pointed people to the truth. God allowed him eleven years as king to get his eyes on God and lead in righteousness. He saw the fruit of both paths and chose to set his eyes on the things of this world.

King Zedekiah’s sons didn’t choose God’s ways either. They threw the prophet, Jeremiah, into a pit to die. They didn’t see the need to obey God. They didn’t see the importance of repentance or tearing down idols and worshiping God. They didn’t see God as sovereign but instead uplifted themselves in the place of Jehovah. They forced the hand of the Lord to execute just judgment. King Zedekiah was captured trying to escape the war that came upon Jerusalem.

His sons were captured as well, and he was forced to watch them die. That was the last thing he saw before they plucked out his eyes. He spent the rest of his life blinded as a reminder of his refusal to look to God and lead with godly sight. He remained a prisoner until his death, and his burial was described as shameful. He refused to see the truth. His sons refused to see the truth. What a tragic story that never had to end this way.

There is no such thing as a secret Christian. True believers have one choice, and that is to wholly follow God. If we could ask King Zedekiah and his sons, I am positive they would say that the consequences of sin cost more than anyone expects.

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