2 Kings 25:22-30

Gedaliah Made Governor

22 Now as for the people who were left in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, he appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan over them. 23 When all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 24 Gedaliah swore to them and their men and said to them, “Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans; live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.”

25 But it came about in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal [j]family, came [k]with ten men and struck Gedaliah down so that he died along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

27 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, [l]released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 [m]Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes and [n]had his meals in [o]the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life; 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life.

We’ve seen this behavior from several kings already, but here we see the rebellious spirit was not confined to the king. In this passage, the captains who remained showed the same stubbornness, but in their foolish arrogance they never considered what would happen once they killed the appointed governor. So they all fled to Egypt because they were afraid of what Babylon might do.

They gave up their homes because they refused to submit to Babylon, and instead submitted to the rule of Egypt when they fled. It’s a terrible irony that we go so far to deny God’s control in our lives. We will do just about anything to assert that we are really in control, and all the while, we are only giving that control to something else. Whether we pursue wealth, or power, the high of drugs, or something else. The very thing we use to declare our independence becomes our master in a life of slavery.

It is a beautiful irony in reverse then, that God calls us to give up control, and to surrender our lives in order to find freedom once more. He tells us, “take my yoke upon you”, which sounds very much like dreary bondage. But in comparison to the enslavements of our flesh, His “yoke is easy, and his burden is light”. Only then can we find rest for our souls, and leave behind the fear that drives us.

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