June 16, 2017
2 Chronicles 36-Part 3
You won't be handed over to them if you choose to obey the LORD. Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you. Jeremiah 38:20
LET IT GLOW
Well, here we are folks, studying about the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, before Babylon conquers them. The prophet Ezekiel had already been taken away captive in 597 B.C. and Jerusalem would soon fall to Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. If only Zedekiah had not done the popular thing, worshiping idols, and did the right thing, which was worshiping God. The people would have followed him and they would not have gone into captivity and the Temple destroyed.
What do we know about this Zedekiah?
- He was 21 when he became king and reigned for 11 years. (verse 11)
- He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. (verse 12)
- Zedekiah refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the LORD.
- He rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God's name. (verse 13)
- While Jeremiah was in prison for being falsely accused of supporting the Chaldeans (in the land of Benjamin), King Zedekiah inquired from him if there was a word from the Lord. (Jeremiah 37:17) He was lowered into a cistern in the prison yard. Although doom was coming, Jeremiah requested more humane conditions than in his dungeon. The king transferred him to a more suitable prison. (Falwell)
- Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord, the God of Israel. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart, as KJV states. (verse 13)
Let us not be stubborn in our own sinful ways. Jonah refused to preach to Nineveh and ran away, but God brought him back and to the point of obedience. Such a great revival occurred. God can use extreme measures in lives as He brings His people back to Him.
LET IT GROW
All the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the pagan practices of the surrounding nations, desecrating the Temple of the LORD that had been consecrated in Jerusalem. (verse 14 NLT)
The people of Judah turned from worshiping God to worshiping idols of false gods. Moses, prophets, and others warned them not to turn to the gods of their enemies. At first they did it secretly, then openly. As the king lead his people, they followed the popular thing to do, though wrong.The Lord chastened His beloved ones, and they repented. It seemed to have been a continuous cycle of sin.
But they would not turn back to God, so God had to turn against them. (Wiersbe)
Do we ask our teenagers if the popular thing to do is the right thing to do? The "jumping off the cliff" thing. Although it is difficult to go against the flow, it is better than to not drown in sin.
God did raise up prophets and leaders faithfully serving Him during those difficult times. Some suffered for their faithfulness-Jeremiah, the weeping prophet and Ezekiel and Daniel taken captive.
LET IT GO
Keep a soft heart toward God and His Word.
Discern whether the popular thing is the right thing to do.
Help others return to God.