What does it say?
These chapters in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles cover the same ground that we have just covered in Jeremiah. 2 Kings 24 follows Nebuchadnezzar’s victory over Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish. Josiah’s son Jehoiakim (also called Eliakim) is a weak and wicked ruler on Judah’s throne. His son Jehoiachin (also Jeconiah or Coniah) follows him in every way. After only three months on the throne Jehoiachin surrenders to the Babylonians that set up his younger brother Zedekiah as their puppet ruler.
Chapter 25 of 2 Kings recounts the destruction of Jerusalem at the hand of Babylon, the murder of Zedekiah’s sons, his eyes being put out and the deportation that Jeremiah predicted. Babylon leaves Gedaliah to govern the remaining people, yet he is quickly assassinated. The book ends with Jehoiachin carried to Babylon to live out his life in captivity.
2 Chronicles is the later record of the fall of Jerusalem told for those that eventually return from Babylon.
What does it mean?
For over 400 years of history we have traced God’s mission through the monarchy of Israel. God’s mission to bless the nations of the world through Israel remains unchanged to this day. We have seen that Israel’s consistent departure from God and his will ultimately results in the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple and the deportation of the people to Babylon.
Today we live under the New Covenant that was made with the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ and sealed by his resurrection. The mission, though, is the same, though what God requires of us today is different in many ways. Nevertheless, the basic way in which he deals with us is the same. He blesses those who trust and obey and he disciplines those who do not.
How will I respond?
Reflecting back on the history of the monarchy of Israel, what is the most important lesson that I have learned, and what it the most practical application that I can make to my life?