Once again in Jeremiah we are reminded that the prophet’s messages are not presented in chronological order. Chapter thirty-seven occurs not long after Zedekiah became king.
The writer is plain that Zedekiah paid no attention to Jeremiah. But that being so, you have to wonder why he sent emissaries to question him and why the king gave Jeremiah, who was considered a traitor to Judah’s cause, sanctuary in the “courtyard of the guard.”
Likely, the answer is that the king knew Jeremiah was telling the truth. He simply could not bring himself to be obedient. We are often just like him. We know better, but pride often gets in the way. We don’t want to admit we are wrong, and we don’t want anyone to see us submit to anyone else – even in the cause of truth.
If you are interested in reading Jeremiah chronologically, you might try the following order – 1:1—7:15; ch. 26; 7:16—20:18; ch. 25; chs. 46–51; 36:1–8; ch. 45; 36:9–32; ch. 35; chs. 21–24; chs. 27–31; 34:1–7; 37:1–10; 34:8–22; 37:11—38:13; 39:15–18; chs. 32–33; 38:14—39:14; 52:1–30; chs. 40–44; 52:31–34 (from the NIV Study Bible via http://www.biblica.com/niv/study-bible/jeremiah/.