|Sunday, November 13|
Chapter 23 ended with Jehoiakim becoming king and doing evil in the eyes of the Lord just as his fathers had. Then moving into chapter 24, Nebuchadnezzar comes onto the scene. He invaded Jerusalem, and made Jehoiakim his servant, to carry out his orders over Judah. After 3 years Jehoiakim rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. The Lord sent armies against him for the evil he had done and he is killed. His son Jehoiachin became king and continued doing evil in the eyes of the Lord as his fathers did. The cycle is continuing.
After Jehoiachin had ruled only 3 months, Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. Jehoiachin surrendered and is taken prisoner. All the treasures of the temple were taken, along with treasures from the king’s house. All but the poorest people were exiled to Babylon. Things were as low as they had ever been for Judah. However, they kept getting worse, and Jerusalem was eventually destroyed.
This seems to just be a story of kings doing evil, and suffering consequences for it. Fast forward 37 years and Nebuchadnezzar dies and Evil-Merodach becomes king of Babylon. He releases Jehoiachin from prison and gave him a place of honor. What a transformation overnight to go from prison to a place of honor with the king.
Have you ever felt that because of some mistake you made or some circumstances, that you can never get past it? Have you felt that things are just going from bad to worse and you will never get past the problems you have? I am guessing Jehoiachin felt that he was condemned to being in prison the rest of his life, and lacked hope at times. However, his life turned around. Doesn’t this sound like the grace of God? There is nothing that shows Jehoiachin deserved this improved position, however he was granted it anyways.
Whether our problems are caused by our own mistakes or just circumstances we are in, we can have the hope of God’s grace, and have everything turned around. We just need to accept God’s gift, along with repentance for our sins.
We can always have hope.