2 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon.2 Kings 25:2-7 ESV
Siege, famine, war, death, captivity.
No cheery news from this era of Judah’s history. God’s judgment comes flooding down on them as they are repaid for their years of idolatry and rejection of God’s commands. While it might have been Zedekiah’s rebellion against Babylon that was the immediate cause of this tragedy and destruction, ultimately, God’s sovereignty brought this about as the culmination of his judgment for their years of doing what was right in their own eyes.
My choices will have consequences. Although much of this life’s rewards and punishments will not come until after death, we can be assured that God’s justice will prevail. He is not one to overlook willful rebellion, nor is He prone to be complacent about obedience and humility.
Thankfully, my daily mess-ups are now covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. He is the only escape. A breach in the wall, a night escape, an excuse, a cover-up — nothing will thwart God’s ultimate justice. That truth brought great heartache to those in Judah and to Zedekiah himself.
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.2 Kings 24:19-20 ESV
Zedekiah might have thought that he was in control of his destiny as he sat on the throne. Even so bold as to rebel against the king over him, but with a heart turned away from God, he had no true hope.
Jesus, and a heart surrendered to His life poured out for us, is the only protection from God’s justice against the evil that continues to play a part in our lives today.
Lord Jesus, thank you for paying what I could not pay. Thank you for the promised hope when harsh justice is what I would deserve without You. Thank you for saving these hard lessons of history for us to learn from as well as the joy-filled ones. May your plan mark my steps rather than my own. In your name I pray, amen.