2 Kings 24:8-17

Jeremiah 22:24-30

Psalm 88

2 Kings 24:18-30


The Second Invasion

Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin

In our last study we read in Jeremiah 22:18&19 his prophesy regarding the death of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar who forced him to pay tribute to Babylon. At that time Egypt was in control of Syria. Nebuchadnezzar decided to drive Egypt out of Syria so in response, Pharaoh Neco marched out with a large army to stop Nebuchadnezzar. Egypt was driven out of Syria and soundly defeated. After three years Nebuchadnezzar decided to attack Egypt. It was at this time that Jehoiakim rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and stopped paying tribute.

The pro Egypt group in Jerusalem was saying that Egypt would defeat Nebuchadnezzar and apparently Jehoiakim was relying on what they were saying in spite of what Jeremiah was warning in his prophesies. Sure enough, this time Egypt did not march out to fight. Jeremiah had prophesied this would happen if Judah relied on man rather than God. God warned that He would withdraw His hand of protection and the nation would suffer from drought, famine, and raids from neighboring nations and ultimately captivity. Rather than heed the message from God, Jeremiah was restricted from the temple and forced into hiding.

Nebuchadnezzar then laid siege against Jerusalem and demanded Jehoiakim be thrown from the wall which the people did. Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim is made king but only for three months. Nebuchadnezzar took him captive and imprisoned him in Babylon and makes Zedekiah king.

At this time Nebuchadnezzar takes another group of people to Babylon. This is a larger group than the first time. These people are the skilled craftsmen and leaders. Among them is Ezekiel. Ezekiel was in line to be a priest but God is going to change his job description. Ezekiel will become a prophet to the common people who were taken in exile.

Fallen man cannot save fallen man. In the world that does not believe in God, false hope and outright lies abound. Pride makes man into an idol but eventually the idol topples and falls.  Man falls because of his sin nature. God warned that everything that had happened to Judah was going to happen. Prideful man does not believe. Instead, he scoffs,  believes the  lies of the “experts” or false prophets, and shoots the messengers.

God has a plan and His plan will be done. In the midst of all the instability that is taking place in Judah, God is still working. He has sent a prophet ahead who is in the court of the present leader of the world. This is Daniel. We will be hearing from Him soon. God has also sent  Ezekiel to minister to the common people. We will see in future studies that God will raise up others within the exiles to preserve the Word of God and prepare a remnant of believers to return to the land. God also left behind Jeremiah to minister to those who remain and were not taken into exile. Their lives will not necessarily be easy and comfortable. They are God’s ambassadors to the nation and the world.

Christians are ambassadors as well. No matter where we are we are to shine the light of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus. The Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome chained to Roman soldiers.  In his letter to the Philippians we see that even though he was confined his light and message were not. We see in Chapter 1:12-14 and 4:22 that Paul was still shining the light of Christ to those around him. His life was proclaiming the Word of God even in difficult circumstances. As we will see when we study Philippians, through Paul God has a plan that will come to light in the future.

Paul was blooming where he was planted as were Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and a host of others we will soon be reading about.

What about you? Are you an ambassador for our Lord?  Paul writes in Romans 10:8, “…The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart- that is the word of faith which we are preaching…” NASB

We may not be a Paul or like one of the prophets mentioned above but we are around unbelievers who need to hear the Gospel and the reason for our hope. Are we living our life in such a way that our actions proclaim our faith in God? Or are we going with the crowd as the leaders of Jerusalem and the majority of the people did?

One of Paul’s greatest messages given in difficult circumstances is found in Acts 16: 30-31. Literally, the world was falling down around Paul and there was no place for him to go, but he and Silas were shining the light of Christ in a dark place.

We can do the same if our faith is in God, because God has a plan!

Pastor Dave