I remember looking back at the demise of Judah in 2 Kings and realizing that while Jerusalem fell to its lowest point at the end of both 2 Kings and now 2 Chronicles, Judah always had a ruler who was a descendant of King David. It’s hard to keep track of who’s who in these final days, which actually were years, but we get them all summed up neatly in a few paragraphs. And we can sum them up a little further to simplify it a little more: Josiah died. His son Jehoahaz became king. He was imprisoned in Egypt. His brother, Jehoiakim (Eliakim), then became king and eventually was imprisoned in Babylon. Then Jehoiakim’s son, Jehoiachin, took over, until he was imprisoned in Babylon. Then, his uncle, who I guess (?) would have been a brother to the OG kings (Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim), became king, so actually the kingship just wound up right back where it was supposed to be. Did you get all that? Yeah, I’ll read this again in a few weeks and be scratching my head, but for today, it’s making sense. And these last few guys were bad dudes, too. Even though we feel like their reign lasted only a few minutes, we need to try and put ourselves in the Israelites’ shoes. They had been living like this for decades, and God didn’t just up and say after a day or two, “Imma let Babylon capture you and humiliate you and drag you down to the absolute lowest point you can possibly go. Oh, and I’m gonna have them burn my Temple, too. I haven’t been in it in years, and you people haven’t seemed to notice.” No. It took Him decades to get to this point. We can look at verse 15 to verify that God did not make His decision hastily: “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple.” Now imagine that the words REPEATEDLY and COMPASSION were written in all caps. I’ve been having a lot of thoughts lately about our present-day situation, and how even now we don’t understand the severity of things even when they are REPEATEDLY presented to us out of COMPASSION. And I am including myself in that thought. Don’t you think for one minute I’m not. I’m as stubborn and prideful as anyone when it comes to certain feelings and situations. As we wrap up this book, let’s give some thoughts about where we are today compared to where the remnants of Jerusalem were at the fall of Judah.
Writing prompt: where are you?
Write about where you are personally today, and write about where you are in respect to world happenings. Write a prayer in regards to both situations.