Sunday, January 14, 2007

No Exit from God's Will


God expects us to be fully submitted to his will. Sometimes, we will have to go through difficult times. We cannot get out of this before God's time and by our own means. This is what we learn from the life of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah.
Babylonians who defeated Judah in 597 BC had made him king. In fact he was their puppet king. Usually the reign of kings in the Bible mentions their achievements and failures, in the case of Zedekiah, there is no mention of anything that he did. The account in 2 Kings (Chapter 24-25) only mentions only one thing he did. "Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon" (2 Kings 24:20). Then there is a long description of how the Babylonians retaliated to this rebellion by their vassal kingdom, how they besieged the city of Jerusalem, Zedekiah's flight, capture, punishment, imprisonment, the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the city, second exile.
This king could not anything for his people. Only complete the destruction of a nation by making the Babylonians destroy the temple.
What was Zedekiah's mistake?
His mistake was to rebel against the will of God. Prophets of his day, particularly Jeremiah had made it very clear that God's punishment is upon his people. He has sent the Babylonians to attack them and take them exiles to Babylonians. It happened in 597 BC. Then Zedekiah was made king over the Judah. The Babylonians were happy as long as Zedekiah paid the tribute that they demanded. The prophets also had prophesied that God will certainly bring those who were taken to Babylon after 70 years. Zedekiah was supposed accept God's will and lead his people. However, he was not. He probably was swayed by the loyalist party and rebelled with the help of Egyptians who were the enemies of Babylon. If he had not rebelled Babylonians would have let them live! In fact Zedekiah and his people were rebelling against the will of God.
A Second mistake he did was to trust in human power. Historians say that Pharaoh Apries encouraged Zedekiah to rebel against the Babylonians. He must have offered him military help also to do it. Zedekiah and his people thought by the help and support of the Egyptians they will be able to get out of the punishment that God has brought upon them. They took the sovereignty of God very lightly.

The Prodigal and the Party Pooper!

Are you a party pooper? Hold on! In order to clear the air, let me first talk about a party pooper that I found in the Bible. The story...