2 Kings 24:11-13
And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, and Jehoiachin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself and his mother and his servants and his officials and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign and carried off 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 in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, as the Lord had foretold.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Today we read of the death of Judah. We read of the siege, the hunger that ensured, the slaughter and the exile. We read of the burning of the Temple and the lists of all of the temple furnishings carried away by the Babylonians to be sold as scrap metal.
It was all destroyed… The city of David, Solomon’s Temple – Jerusalem in all its glory was abandoned and smoldering. Would there ever be hope again? All that remained was grief and the hell of living in exile.
What happened to the promise to David made back in 2 Samuel 7:16, “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” Did God break his promise?
We know the answer. The author of 2 Kings ends the book with a glimmer of hope – the news that King Jehoiachin still lived – and within him lived the seed of David – the seed of the Promised One – the seed of Jesus.
Jesus came and taught us that the way to life is through death. This is the way of the Kingdom of God… “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). This is God’s work – to defeat the power of sin and to bring life out of death.
Even in Jerusalem’s darkest hour – as she smoldered and sat desolate – there was hope. For “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap” (Psalm 113:7).
Jesus, showed his power over death as he raised Lazarus from the grave. He asks us the same question he asked of Lazarus’ sister, Martha…
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Keeping up with the Kings
- Judah: Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa (good), Jehoshaphat (good), Jehoram (son of Jehoshaphat), Ahaziah (killed by Jehu), Queen Athaliah, Jehoash (only surviving son of Ahaziah: good), Amaziah (good), Azariah (Uzziah, good), Jotham (good), Ahaz, Hezekiah (good), Manasseh, Amon, Josiah (good), Jehoahaz, Eliakim/Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah
- Israel: Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram (or Joram, son of Ahab), Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, Hoshea