God does not give up on Us


Fall of Jerusalem
God does not give up on Us
Img: The Flight of the Prisoners (1896) by James Tissot; the exile of the Jews from Canaan to Babylon.

By James Tissot - https://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/26577-the-flight-of-the-prisoners Jacques Joseph Tissot, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8860276

Yesterday we looked at King Josiah, during his reign over Judah, God began speaking through the prophet Jeremiah. God continued to speak to the last 4 Kings of Judah prior to the fall of Jerusalem. God did not cease to speak to them, the problem was they were not willing to listen!

Josiah tried to stamp out evil to the best of his ability, he was the 1 exception in a line of evil Kings starting at Manasseh. But his sons rebelled against their father's beliefs. So in the reign of the next 4 Kings one sentence is sadly repeated over and over - “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his fathers had done.” Throughout the entire reign of Josiah's descendants God was speaking. God sent Jeremiah and made an offer to Jehoahaz (Jeremiah 22:2-5). If Jehoahaz had heeded his words and been a decent human being, history would have been different. Josiah was young enough when he started following the Lord that all his sons were raised in the Jewish faith - how did they go so far astray? So here is the timeline we are looking at:

  1. Josiah - Reign began age 8, reigned 31 years. - Killed by Pharaoh Neco (Egypt) (2 Kings 22:19-20).
  2. Jehoahaz - Josiah’s 4th Son. - Reign began age 23, reigned 3 months (taken to Egypt).
  3. Jehoiakim - Josiah’s 2nd Son - Reign began age 25, reigned 11 years (puppet king of Pharaoh Neco).
  4. Babylon overthrew Egypt & Assyria combined at Battle of Carchemish 605BC
  5. 1st deportation to Babylon (Daniel and friends)
  6. Jehoiachin - Josiah's grandson - Reign began age 18, reigned 3 months, according to Rabbinic records, a godless tyrant, committing the most atrocious sins and crimes. He had incestuous relations with his mother, daughter-in-law, and stepmother, and regularly murdered men, whose wives he then violated and property he seized. He openly mocked God - upon receiving a written scroll, from Jeremiah - he burned it. He had a NASTY end!
  7. 2nd deportation (24:15-16, includes Ezekiel)
  8. Zedekiah - Josiah’s 3rd Son - Reign began age 21, reigned 11 years (puppet king of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon until he rebelled). Took the Prophet Jeremiah as a Counselor but then didn't listen to him and even had him imprisoned for a time.
  9. Babylonian siege and fall of Jerusalem (587BC)

How many of our sons and daughters, raised in good Christian homes go astray and rebel? Too many! Sadly the call of the world, the lusts of the eyes and the flesh are strong. But the evil, perpetrated by the 4 Kings that followed Josiah was brutally horrendous. Yet God never gives up on them, He keeps speaking to them, calling them to repentance so he can lessen the consequences for them.

God does not give up on any of us. We know many return to the faith of their childhood in later years - it is hard to forget the love that Jesus offers and gives once you have experienced it. Jesus will keep speaking to you and your children, gently and gradually trying to lead you in the right direction at a pace you can handle. Don't make the mistake those 4 Kings did - LISTEN TO HIM!