Dec. 1, 2016
2 Kings 25-Part 3
LET IT GLOW
Can it get any worse? How many times have you and I asked that question? It has been said, things happen in threes. I don't know it there is any truth to that saying or not. It seems like that when we scrape the bottom of the barrel, we are forced to look up, though. We cling to the Lord with hopes of things getting better. We pray and repeat verses of promise. I can truthfully say that I do not know. God is in charge and each situation is different. He knows what is best and I do not. That is where trust comes in.
Your will, Your way, today, I pray.
Judah was scraping the bottom of the barrel. Their empty barrel would last for 70 years, unfortunately.
A Babylonian officer had the Jewish nobles slain (verses 18-21). The only ones to remain in Judah were the poorest people-farmers of the field and vineyards. King Nebuchadnez established a system of governors in the land in n attempt to provide political stability. The first governor as Gedaliah.
Who was he and what transpired during this time?
- Gedaliah's grandfather, Shaphan, was Josiah's secretary, who implemented that king's reforms (22:3)
- His father, Ahikem, was part of Josiah's delegation sent to Huddah (22:14) and a supporter of the prophet Jeremiah. His family helped Jeremiah and was devoted to the prophet.
- Gedaliah faithfully administered Babylon's policies.
- He established a reasonable amount of safety, peace, and security for those left behind.
- The jealousy of Ishmael (probably a distant relative of the king) let a plot and murder of Gedaliah (Jeremiah 40-41).
- Ishmael was in the line of David and may have been angry that he was passed over for governor.
- Two days later 80 Jewish en went to Jerusalem to worship God. Ishmael probably had the killed for the money and food they were carrying.
- Without a king, no law and no loyalty God, Judah was subjected to complete anarchy.
Can it get any worse for Judah? Possibly so. We know that their captivity in Babylon lasted 70 years. That is a whole generation. but there was a remnant who stayed faithful to God during that time.
LET IT GROW
Well, some Jews migrated to Egypt, even after Jeremiah advised to not do so. (verse 26 and Jeremiah 42)
How does this book of 2 Kings end?
- After Jehoiachin had been in captivity for 37 years, there was a new king in Babylon, Evil-merodach.
- He gave freedom to the Jewish exiles and Jehoiachin.
- Jehoiachin was given a prominent position, new appropriate clothes, and daily rations of food.
Chronicles 36:21 says This fulfilled the word of the Lord through Jeremiah and the land enjoyed its Sabbath rest all the days of the destruction until 70 years were fulfilled.
To explain, one year of every 7 years the law said it was to remain fallow, not worked and rest from crops. (Ex. 23:10-11) The 70 year captivity allowed the land to rest, 1 per Sabbath rest it did not have.
God keeps His promises of blessings and promises of judgment.
When everything is stripped away from us, we too still have God, His Word, His presence, and His promises.
Even though our life can get worse, it can also get better. It got better for the Israelites when Babylon was conquered and Cyrus the king allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city, the wall, and the Temple.
So let us keep the faith my friends. Often times it gets worse before it gets better.
LET IT GO
Work through my situation and lay it at the feet of Jesus.
Just let it go and look up.
Accept whatever He deems best.