“And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.” 2 Kings 24:11-12
This morning, I offer a look at the choice we all have as creations of the One True God. Chronicled within the book of Kings (which is divided into two books in the Old Testament), are the acts of the very men who held the positions of said leadership throughout the time of the nation of Israel prior to going into captivity for the last time leading up to the arrival of the Messiah, Christ Jesus. (Yes, that was one sentence) King after king after king is listed in order of reign, one to the next. The book closes with King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon taking Judah into captivity, after making siege against Jerusalem.
The Lord had spoken through His prophets that He would bring this judgement against Judah because she had forsaken their God and not followed the words which were written in the book of The Lord. So, in chapter twenty four, when we see Nebuchadnezzar come for Judah, instead of fighting against him, we see King Jehoiachin surrender, and Jerusalem, and he and his family, are spared. Yes, the royals are taken into captivity, but they are yet alive, and no harm comes to them. It was a captivity of choice. They may still have ended up in captivity by fighting and then subsequently losing, but that captivity may very well have been less than what they received, and we see that in Jehoiachin’s uncle, King Zedekiah.
Zedekiah was appointed into his kingship by Nebuchadnezzar upon Jehoiachin’s surrender. However, Zedekiah did what his nephew and brother had done before him and he did evil in the sight of The Lord. Where did this lead him? Into rebellion against King Nebuchadnezzar, and of course, good old King Nebbie took Zedekiah to task. Zedekiah’s sons were slaughtered in front of his own eyes and then, after witnessing that horror, it would be the last thing he would see as he was blinded and bound in chains being put into captivity. On top of that, Jerusalem was destroyed and all but the poorest wretches were taken into captivity, too. All because he defied the king whom God had ordained to be over Judah during this period.
So, what do we take from this lesson? Well, God is God. He does not change, and He wants us now, as he did Judah then, to follow after Him, and to not only hear the Word, but to be doers of the Word. God desires for us to chase after Him with all of who we are. And when we are not doing that, He will allow the way we do choose to become unbearably more difficult until we surrender and submit our will to His. We can either surrender ourselves quickly, once our sin is exposed, as Jehoiachin did, or we can run, trying to hide ourselves from the wrath of God and refuse the peace that comes with submission, like Zedekiah did, and become further and further from our Creator God.
Today, let us review our lives and allow the Voice of God to be heard. Let us surrender to Him those things we are clutching in our hands that are not becoming of a child of God and do not edify those around us. May we let The Lord God have His Way with us and be blessed as Jehoiachin was.
“And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; and he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; and changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” 2 Kings 25:27-30