2 Kings 24:10-20

Deportation to Babylon

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon went up to Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he and his mother and his servants and his captains and his officials. So the king of Babylon took him captive in the eighth year of his reign. 13 He carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, just as the Lord had said. 14 Then he led away into exile all Jerusalem and all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land.

15 So he led Jehoiachin away into exile to Babylon; also the king’s mother and the king’s wives and his officials and the leading men of the land, he led away into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 All the men of valor, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths, one thousand, all strong and fit for war, and these the king of Babylon brought into exile to Babylon.

Zedekiah Made King

17 Then the king of Babylon made [b]his uncle Mattaniah king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For through the anger of the Lord this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar takes away the brightest and best of Judah after he conquers it, and none were left but the poor. Mattaniah becomes the third son of Josiah to sit on the throne after his nephew is deported, and his name is changed to Zedekiah. It’s still a bit of a mystery how Josiah’s sons strayed so far from the path of their father, though we see the same rebellious spirit in Mattaniah.

Even though his army was gone, he still rebels against the king of Babylon. He was so desperate to do things his own way, and have control of his own life, that he rebels with no one to back him up. It’s yet another reminder that we are both in charge of our own destiny, and yet we need to lay down that control in order to live the life that God designed for us. It’s a paradox that none of the sons of Josiah could seem to grasp, and instead they found only God’s judgment.

While you might not get carried off to a foreign land as a slave, and following God is not an easy road, trying to live your own way is not unlike kicking a mountain. It’s not moving, and you’re just going to get hurt. Instead, embrace the “mountain”, and you’ll find much more peace and joy as you travel up the mountain. Though it be difficult, the journey will be worth it, and the reward will be beyond imagination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *