[2 Kgs 24- 1 Ch 1] Nebuzaradan burnt down the Temple, the king's palace, all the houses of Jerusalem & even all the mansions. [2K 25:9] It fulfilled what God spoke through Isaiah: Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, …. All these big, fine houses will be empty ruins. [Isa 5:8-9]
➡ Don’t fret because of evildoers. Don’t envy wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass ... [Ps 37:1-2]
➡ But the meek [anayv – poor, humble, weak, needy, afflicted] shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. [Ps 37:11]
The kings, nobles, craftsmen etc were either killed or taken away captive. But the poorest of the land were left to be vinedressers and plowmen. [2K25:12] Jeremiah records that they gathered in wine & summer fruit in abundance. [Rf Jr 40:12]
The survivors asked Jeremiah for guidance on what they should do. God spoke through Jeremiah: Live in this land, I will build you up … Don’t be afraid of the king of Babylonia. I am with you, and I will rescue you from his power. Because I AM MERCIFUL, I will make him have mercy on you ... [Jer 42:10-12]
The strange part is that these people had SEEN every single word spoken through Jeremiah being fulfilled. They had EXPERIENCED the abundance of peace & provision after the war clouds passed. They could have rebuilt their lives. Instead they fought amongst themselves, killed Gedaliah, and then decided to go back to Egypt…
Naaman’s little servant girl, Joseph, Daniel & friends went through great trauma … kidnapped, separated from their families… One difference. They saw GOD as greater than people & their circumstances. They KNEW that God is good and held onto that truth through thick & thin. That truth became the foundation of their recovery. Knowing that Truth enabled them to run TO God, instead of away from Him.
Unbelief is Man’s FAITH in HIS OWN ability to control & organize HIS OWN life. Unbelief is Man’s belief that he is the god of his own life. UNBELIEF keeps us from recognizing the evidences of God’s love for us. Unbelief makes us test God saying, “If God really loved me, He would do --------.”
“In our blindness we approach Him with suspicious reserve. We ask how much of our fun He intends to spoil, how much He will demand from us, how high is the price we must pay before He is placated”. – Elisabeth Elliott
Does God really love me❓ Look at the Cross. Did Jesus really need to be stripped of all dignity, suffer agonizingly and die condemned as a criminal in our place?
❤ He’s the Creator. He has complete & absolute right & authority to crush the entire Human Race. BUT, He chose to make a way for us to be rescued & brought back to Him so that He can show us kindness & mercy… [Rf Eph 2:4-7] He WANTED us to know that He loves us. [Jn 15:9, Jn 16:27, Jn 17:23]
Circumstances can leave us feeling like the burnt-out shell of Jerusalem.
BUT God promises: "I WILL rebuild you with stones of turquoise. Lay your foundations ... Construct your towers ... Your gates … and all your walls with precious stones… You'll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, …” [Isa 54:11-14]
God rebuilds us ONE precious truth-jewel at a time and gives us the power to make ONE righteous & wise choice at a time, so that we are rebuilt on the Solid Rock of Jesus, in HIS likeness.
Abba Father, how grateful I am that You do not make empty promises… that You fulfil every Word You speak. I believe Lord, help my unbelief. I know the things I am holding onto are worthless compared to knowing YOU. I open my hands and let go. Help me not to pick them back up ever again. I trust You to make all things new. I want YOU to be my builder and my foundation… In Jesus Name. Amen.
Responding to blessings - 2 Kings 25:29 “Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes [for palace garments] and he dined regularly in the king’s presence for the remainder of his life”
The Word of God says that, in the 37th year of Jehoiachin of Judah, the king of Babylon
- Showed favour to Jehoiachin
- Released him from prison
- Spoke kindly with him
- Set his throne above the throne of the other kings who were with him in Babylon
- A continual allowance was given to him everyday, for the rest of his life
The Word of God says, that Jehoiachin responded positively to the king’s gesture by getting rid of his prison clothes and put on palace garments because he was now called to sit with the king of Babylon and he dined regularly with the king for the rest of his life.
Today’s reflection is a reminder to us of how we are supposed to respond to God’s gift of new life to us.
- We have received a new life in Christ and this is grace.
- We were not worthy but were counted worthy to enter into God’s blessings.
- He has taken away all the old (sin, pain, grief, sickness, shame) and
- He has given us a new life to live in where there is no condemnation of sin because Jesus has taken all of sin on Himself once and for all.
- God has also blessed us with the Holy Spirit, his power, and put a seal on us.
- God has made us princes / princesses in His kingdom to rule with Him and the list can go on.
The point here is that, do we respond to our blessings in the same way as Jehoiachin did? The Word of God says, that he changed his prison clothes for palace garments and took his position with the king. What is our response to God’s providence / blessings in our lives?
- Do we also live our lives in faith everyday?
- Do we choose to believe His Word and act on it everyday?
- Do we claim His Word in our lives and so live the life that God has called us to, no matter what the situation is?
- Do we put away the old and put on the new clothes of Christ?
- Do we also take our position in Christ as a new creation?
Dear brethren, if we have been wallowing in the old life all this time, then it is time that we pull ourselves together and make it a point to live the new life. We shouldn’t put on a false face on the outside when we come to church but live otherwise when we go back home.
We need to respond in faith to the Lord’s word, so that our new life may start unrolling itself in our lives. For that we need to stand on God’s Word and just wait for God to do His part. He will do His part if you do yours.
Our lives may be the only living bibles, testimonies to people around us. If we ourselves continue to live dejected, sorrowful, powerless, sad lives, then what message are we passing on to others? Are we evangelizing positively, to draw people to Christ or negatively evangelizing, to push them away from Christ?
If you have heard the Lord speak to you today, then today is the day and now is the time to turn to the Lord and follow Him with all your heart, as king Josiah had done.
O Holy Spirit we ask You to please help me to walk the new life that you have given me in Christ Jesus. I make a decision now to follow you. Help me not to turn back but lead me in your ways and may I sincerely follow you with all my heart and soul and mind.
But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for [nor even think about gratifying] the flesh in regard to its improper desires. (Romans 13:14)
- Kevin D'Souza (Mumbai)
2 Kings 24 v4 says King Manasseh caused the shedding of innocent blood in Jerusalem, and the Lord was not willing to forgive.
Here we find strangely, God who forgives willingly was not willing to forgive Manasseh because of his wilful evil deeds. He actually had the benefit of seeing his father King Hezekiah doing all the right things in the sight of God yet Manasseh turned out Satanic and caused the people of Judah to sin.
Shedding of innocent blood and worshiping idols proved to be double whammy for Manasseh and Judah.
I am tempted to compare Manasseh to Satan who was evil personified as given below:
-Like Satan who caused the shedding of the innocent blood of Jesus Christ, Manasseh also shed innocent blood in Jerusalem ( 2 Ki. 24: 4)
-Like Satan, Manasseh also caused the people to do evil in the eyes of the Lord ( 2 Ki. 21: 16)
-Like Satan, Manasseh led Judah into idol worship (2 ki.21:10)
Two important qualities of God are love and Justice. He is able to forgive sinners since he is love personified and he pronounces judgement upon sinners since he is God of Justice.
Both love and Justice of God operate in tandem(alongside) in dealing with us. We can't expect God to forgive us out of his love at the cost of his justice when we sin willfully. While exercising his love the Lord has to uphold his justice too.
Willful shedding of innocent blood is an extreme violation of justice combined with leading the people of Judah into idol worship made it difficult even for God to forgive and hence he pronounced judgement upon Judah.
History throws up now and then leaders like Manasseh, Herod and Hitler who shed innocent blood which is difficult even for God to forgive.
A nation can only be as good as it's leader. Hence we need to pray for good leaders in all our countries who will not lead people to sin like idol worship which the Lord detests.
I am the Composer of Songs and Commands
⏳ Judah Overrun by Enemies
While Jehoiakim was king, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia invaded Judah, The LORD sent armed bands of Babylonians, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against Jehoiakim to destroy Judah, as the LORD had said through his servants the prophets that he would do.
This happened at the LORD's command, and especially because of all the innocent people he had killed. The LORD could not forgive Manasseh for that.
⏳ The Reign and Captivity of Jehoiachin
Following the example of his father, Jehoiachin sinned against the LORD.
As the LORD had foretold, Nebuchadnezzar broke up all the gold utensils which King Solomon had made for use in the Temple.
⏳ Zedekiah Reigns in Judah
The LORD became so angry with the people of Jerusalem and Judah that he banished them from his sight.
⏳ The Fall and Captivity of Judah
He burned down the Temple, the palace, and the houses of all the important people in Jerusalem, But he left in Judah some of the poorest people, who owned no property, and put them to work in the vineyards and fields. So the people of Judah were carried away from their land into exile.
⏳ Gedaliah Made Governor of Judah
Then all the Israelites, rich and poor alike, together with the army officers, left and went to Egypt, because they were afraid of the Babylonians.
⏳ Jehoiachin Released from Prison
Evilmerodach treated him kindly and gave him a position of greater honor than he gave the other kings who were exiles with him in Babylonia.
⏳ The Family of Adam—Seth to Abraham
⏳ The Family of Ishmael
⏳ The Family of Keturah
⏳ The Family of Isaac
⏳ The Family of Seir
⏳ The Kings of Edom<
⏳ Be fair with innocent ⚖
I AM COMING SOO
"ALL GLORY AND HONOUR BELONGS TO GOD ALONE"
The Last Days of Judah