Daily Devotion Text

April 11, 2019

2 Kings 24 – 2019-04-11

By carmenhsu In 2 Kings, Devotion Text with Comments Off on 2 Kings 24 – 2019-04-11
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  • Bible Text:2 Kings 24:1-20 {ESV}

    1 In his days, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 And the Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldeans and bands of the Syrians and bands of the Moabites and bands of the Ammonites, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the Lord, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, 4 and also for the innocent blood that he had shed. For he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord would not pardon. 5 Now the rest of the deeds of Jehoiakim and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 6 So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. 7 And the king of Egypt did not come again out of his land, for the king of Babylon had taken all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the Brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates.

    8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done.

    10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, 12 and Jehoiachin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself and his mother and his servants and his officials and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign 13 and carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, as the Lord had foretold. 14 He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men of valor, 10,000 captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained, except the poorest people of the land. 15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon. The king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon all the men of valor, 7,000, and the craftsmen and the metal workers, 1,000, all of them strong and fit for war. 17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

    18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For because of the anger of the Lord it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.

    And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

  • Commentary  We are nearing the end of our Devotion Times in 2 Kings.  The article below shows some passages from the prophets that shed additional light on the downfall of Judah.

    It’s difficult to look at Judah’s history without experiencing a deep sense of regret. We do rejoice at the stories of revival and renewal. But we are saddened by the tragic state that called for revival: a state of spiritual decline and deadness that was all too often the normal state of affairs in Judah.

    Under its later kings Judah, the surviving kingdom, knew both trial and triumph. As in the Northern Kingdom, increasing prosperity led to the neglect of faith. Ahaz, Judah’s king during the years preceding the destruction of Samaria, committed himself to evil. He promoted Baal worship and even engaged in infant sacrifice (2 Chron. 28:3). He also established a pagan altar in the Jerusalem temple itself, making this the official place of sacrifice. He finally closed the temple, to force his people into the kind of pagan worship that he desired.

    Micah, a contemporary prophet, cried out against Judah in those days just before the downfall of Israel.

    Micah 6:16 (ESV) 

    For you have kept the statutes of Omri,

    and all the works of the house of Ahab;

    and you have walked in their counsels,

    that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing;

    so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”

    How little difference could be seen between the sins of the Northern Kingdom and the lifestyle of “godly” Judah! And prophet after prophet sent, along with the pious kings, to lead Judah back to God were rejected or ignored.

    Isaiah, who lived during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, called Judah

    Isaiah 1:4 (ESV)  

    Ah, sinful nation,

    a people laden with iniquity,

    offspring of evildoers,

    children who deal corruptly!

    They have forsaken the Lord,

    they have despised the Holy One of Israel,

    they are utterly estranged.

    In one of the Old Testament’s most poignant images, Isaiah shares the song of the vineyard, God’s plaintive cry over a nation gone astray.

    Isaiah 5:1–4, 7(ESV) 

    1 Let me sing for my beloved

    my love song concerning his vineyard:

    My beloved had a vineyard

    on a very fertile hill.

    2 He dug it and cleared it of stones,

    and planted it with choice vines;

    he built a watchtower in the midst of it,

    and hewed out a wine vat in it;

    and he looked for it to yield grapes,

    but it yielded wild grapes.

    3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem

    and men of Judah,

    judge between me and my vineyard.

    4 What more was there to do for my vineyard,

    that I have not done in it?

    When I looked for it to yield grapes,

    why did it yield wild grapes? […]

    7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts

    is the house of Israel,

    and the men of Judah

    are his pleasant planting;

    and he looked for justice,

    but behold, bloodshed;

    for righteousness,

    but behold, an outcry!

    Habakkuk. Habakkuk wrote in yet another time of revival, during the time of Josiah. Yet the first chapter of his short book indicates how troubled this prophet was with social and moral conditions in Judah. He was so troubled that he cried out to God, unable to grasp how God could permit the violence and injustice he saw everywhere. Despite a godly king whose whole heart was dedicated to the Lord, Habakkuk still cried out:

    Habakkuk 1:2–4 (ESV) 

    2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,

    and you will not hear?

    Or cry to you “Violence!”

    and you will not save?

    3 Why do you make me see iniquity,

    and why do you idly look at wrong?

    Destruction and violence are before me;

    strife and contention arise.

    4 So the law is paralyzed,

    and justice never goes forth.

    For the wicked surround the righteous;

    so justice goes forth perverted.

    And what about the days just before judgment fell? Listen to Jeremiah, as he looked back on the captivity of the Northern Kingdom, seeing it as a special lesson to Judah—a unique call to the South to repent. The words of Jeremiah clearly show that all the revivals of the Southern Kingdom, even the greatest under Hezekiah and Josiah, had not touched the hearts of God’s chosen.

    Jeremiah 3:6–10 (ESV) 

    6 The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? 7 And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9 Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the Lord.”[1]

    [1] Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The Teacher’s Commentary (pp. 282–283). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

  • Reflection & Application: 2 Kings 24:1-20
    • Surveying Judah’s history, what are some lessons and truths about human nature as well as about the heart of God?


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