Today’s passages: 2 Kings, chapter 24; Psalm 112; Jeremiah, chapter 22; John, chapter 18
Scripture: 2 Kings 24:8-11 (NRSV) – Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father had done. At that time the servants of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it; King Jehoiachin of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself, his mother, his servants, his officers, and the palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign.
Observations: The thing that struck me today as I read this passage was that Jehoiachin only reigned three months in Jerusalem before God’s judgment on Judah came in the person of Nebuchadnezzar. I’m not sure what Jehoiachin was thinking as he became king, but the thought that came to my mind is that he probably thought he had plenty of time as king to figure things out. But in God’s timing, three months was all he got. The passage tells us that although Jehoiachin was only king for three months, “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father had done.” Three months was enough time for him to have realized his errors, repented, and turned toward the Lord. He may have thought, “My ancestor Manasseh reigned for fifty-five years, even though he did evil things. Many of the other kings had long reigns, too, in spite of not honoring God. So I’ve got plenty of time to figure things out.”
But he didn’t. Three months as king, and the Babylonians came. He and his family were carried off to Babylon, never to return. The seeds of disobedience had been sown in his life long before he became king, and when they continued to sprout after he became king, God had seen enough.
What a contrast we see in Psalm 112! “Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed…For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.” (Psalm 112:1-2, 6) Following God and obeying him will always lead us to the right places in the end. Sin may have its pleasure for a season; there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end, it leads to destruction – just as Jehoiachin discovered. But God’s blessings will be upon those who honor him.
Applications: God is reminding me today of the urgency in sharing his truth with people when we have the opportunity to do so. They may think they have plenty of time; we may think they have plenty of time – but we never know. That’s why it’s important to us to listen to God and walk in obedience each day! When we do, God will always lead us in his way – and we can trust that in the end, he will lead us exactly where we need to go.
Prayer: Father, help me to do just that – to listen to you and to walk in obedience today. As I acknowledge your provision of my daily bread, the things I need, I also acknowledge your daily direction, correction, instruction, and help. May I do your will today, so that your Kingdom may come in greater measure, on earth as in heaven. Amen.