It's Christmas time. Shopping, carols, stress :-) and the line "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" from Handel's Messiah was going through my head. (I'm told I always have a three ring circus going on in my head.) Along with that came a morning devotional reading from the prophet Jeremiah. I started connecting the King who comes in a manger, God's promise, God's word, God's truth, and a couple of stubborn kings about 600 years earlier.
It hit me: Two kings, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, refused to listen to the truth, to what God was telling them, through the truth teller, prophet, Jeremiah, and there were consequences. Not so much a divine thunderbolt, although some might read Jeremiah chapters 36-38 with that in there. No, it was more of a natural consequence, it was failure to take action. That in motion, and bold truth on the table, the consequence of not listening to a Good Word, came true...a tough consequence.
What I learned... Listen to God, even when the path is difficult and all shall be well. Ignore or turn my back on God's Word and trouble is the inevitable consequence. Listen and be well -- God's Word leads to God's encouragement. Be encouraged.