Friday, 12th November 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-7 Have No Repentance to the End
V1 ‘In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him.’ Jehoiakim seemed to have no authority over his nation, but he was still the king, and he still had the freedom to worship God. The kingdom of Judah was about to be destroyed, this was the time that the king should lead his people to repent before God and seek His help. God would use our surrounding environment to remind us to turn back, He also rose up prophets and priests to speak to the king. But the king did not listen, even until the end, he did not repent.
V3-4 ‘Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon.’ Because of the sins of Manasseh, God has removed Judah from His sight. Manasseh had 55 years to rule over Judah, the longest reign among all the kings of Judah, but he did not seek God, instead, he worshipped the idols and allowed the people to sin against God. Because of Manasseh, God was about to destroy Judah, but then his grandson Josiah tried to do the right thing and led the people to study the Word of God, therefore the destruction was delayed.
When Jehoiakim did evil in the eyes of God, God’s grace finally left Judah. Despite of it, God still gave him 11 years to change his way. We must rely on God, don’t rely on people, may God help us to see His teaching through the environment, we must repent, return to God, do not wait until it’s too late.
Section Two V8-16 Being Stubborn and have No Understanding
V8 ‘Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.’ He was 18 years old when he became the king, he saw how the Pharoah of Egypt appointed his father as the king, how the king of Babylon came up to take over Judah, and how the armies of many nations came against Judah. But he was still stubborn, and he still did not understand that he should return to seek God.
So many things happen in this world. Are we also being stubborn? It’s easy to always see other people’s mistakes and not our own problems. We have been offering to God, but we forgot to give our sin offering. Jehoiachin thought surrendering to Babylon was easy, he could still be the king just like his father, but he did not realise that his decision affect everything and everyone in Judah. The king of Babylon took every valuable thing in Judah and in the Temple of God, captured every capable man in the city, and left only the poor.
Jehoiachin did not know that when his father was king, God’s grace was still there! We should never take God’s grace for granted, do not always focus on the problems of others, but to see our own problems, to repent before God and to change our way.
Section Three V17-20 The Catastrophe is Imminent
V17-19 ‘Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. 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. He also did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.’ Both Jehoiakim and Zedekiah did not know the truth about God, there was no repentance until the end. Finally, God’s wrath came upon them.
Zedekiah became the last king of Judah. God does not anger easily but it’s because of the people, who do not repent until the end, being stubborn with no understanding and finally the wrath of God came upon them.
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