2 Kings 25:1-21

Nebuchadnezzar Besieges Jerusalem

25 Now in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around [a]it. So the city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled by night by way of the gate between the two walls beside the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And [b]they went by way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and [c]he passed sentence on him. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, then put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon.

Jerusalem Burned and Plundered

Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire. 10 So all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Then the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the rest of the people, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

13 Now the bronze pillars which were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the bronze sea which were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried the [d]bronze to Babylon. 14 They took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the spoons, and all the bronze vessels which were used in temple service. 15 The captain of the guard also took away the firepans and the basins, what was fine gold and what was fine silver. 16 The two pillars, the one sea, and the stands which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord—the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen [e]cubits, and a bronze capital was on it; the height of the capital was three [f]cubits, with a network and pomegranates on the capital all around, all of bronze. And the second pillar was like these with network.

18 Then the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, with the three [g]officers of the temple. 19 From the city he took one official who was overseer of the men of war, and five [h]of the king’s advisers who were found in the city; and the [i]scribe of the captain of the army who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 Then the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was led away into exile from its land.

When Zedekiah rebels, the king of Babylon comes with his whole army and besieges the city for two years until they finally break into the city. The end result is the death of Zedekiah and all his sons, and many of the important people who are left in Jerusalem. The temple and any place important is burned, and the wall broken down.

The king of Babylon was not about to leave any chance of resistance a second time around, and made sure that Judah was well and truly broken. And lest we think he was just ruthless (probably was), remember that the king of Babylon was doing God’s will, though unknowingly. Zedekiah might have thought, “Hurrah, I’m still alive, I’m king, and Babylon is far away, we’ve escaped God’s wrath…”

But God wasn’t finished with Judah for all their transgressions, and all the evil deeds that had been done over the centuries. And while God doesn’t usually take us captive into foreign countries, it is not unheard of that he wrecks our lives to get our attention. When he is calling, and we rebel, we thumb our nose at the Most High, nothing is safe or beyond His reach.

It is a hard think to acknowledge, but God’s love is so reckless that he would ruin us just so that He can redeem us. But that’s the amazing thing. That though we might be destitute and feel beyond repair, God is mightier. He can not only redeem us, but like God did with Job, He can rebuild our life into one of His making if we will at once submit to His will. God can make something out of the ashes of destruction that would seem impossible by human standards, and even beyond our imagination. But God is mighty enough to make something amazing from nothing. Never underestimate the love of God, and the lengths to which He will go to make us into a new creation.

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