BOOK OF THE KINGDOM

The Book of Kings is about the kingdom.  The Kingdom of God is a New Testament concept, but God opened that kingdom to the patriarchs by sending Yeshua to them after their death.  Those who accept Yeshua as Messiah are the Kingdom of God, not the nation of Israel or Judaism.  God will bring Israel to Messiah later according to Zechariah.  But this is not about the United States either.  The Kingdom of God crosses every political border.  This alarm is being sounded for those who accept Yeshua, Jesus; Christians.  Religion will be on trial…do we love in spirit and truth? 

And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.  And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.  And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.  And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.  And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.  2 Kings 25:1-5

Resistance is futile, and Israel is being assimilated by the irresistible army of Babylon.  New fortifications against the walls of Jerusalem will prevail.  Fires through the night illuminate the ongoing construction and war preparations.  The city is cut off from food, commerce, and industry.  Without God, fear rules the minds of the soldiers.  Their leaders show their example of cowardice, and are taken in their sin. 

So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.  And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.  And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:  And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire.  And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.  2 Kings 25:6-10

Zedekiah had already seen Israel suffer a military defeat at the hands of the Babylonians.  Being weakened by that defeat did he have any excuse to expect a different outcome?  Hitler at least had a couple of decades for Germany to recover from their first world war.   Without God Zedekiah had no military reason to expect a victory over the massive power of Babylon.  He was spiritually blind from the beginning.  He at least didn’t have to witness the fires of the destruction of Jerusalem.

Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.  But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.  And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that was in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.  And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.  And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.  The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD; the brass of all these vessels was without weight.  The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work.  2 Kings 25:11-17

Under King Josiah the temple was repaired and re-furnished.  The gold and brass was replaced, but the hearts of the people would turn as soon as Josiah was gone.  Does the modern church rebuild the form of religion while neglecting the cleansing of the heart?  We at least have daily access to repentance through prayer, bible study, and Christian fellowship.  We should have personal communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Our leaders can be good examples, but they cannot perform that relationship for us.  Leaders who are not good examples will face the greater judgment though.

While Babylon has taken the lifeless items of the temple, they also took the living children of faith.  Amid the fire of destruction there also linger some fires of hope.  That secret weapon is alive in children named Hananiah, Azariah, and Michael.  Their friend Daniel will witness their faith and discover a promise of scripture that was planted hundreds of years earlier.  Mordecai and Esther too will play a role in bringing the hope of Israel to life.  False leaders and priests will not see those promises delivered though.

And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:  And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king’s presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city:  And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah:  And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.  2 Kings 25:18-21

Shepherds who do not feed their flocks will be harshly judged.  God called the king of Babylon to be his instrument to re-educate Israel.  Judah will send it’s children to Babylon to learn about false Gods.  The remnant gained an appointed king; a figurehead ruler. 

And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler.  And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.  And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.  But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah.  And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.  2 Kings 25:22-26

Gedaliah tried to get the people to submit to the Babylonians peacefully, and not rebel.  But these people rejected and killed this king in their rebellion.  So now they had to flee to Egypt after killing Nebuchadnezzar’s appointee.  It went better for their old king, who was imprisoned in Babylon. 

And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;  And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;  And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.   And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.  2 Kings 25:27-30

Judah will complete a time predicted by the prophets.  The conquerors came from Babylon, the Persians will conquer Babylon, and Cyrus will rebuild the nation.  They were warned and comforted long before they went down.  God’s word is complete and will guide us also today.

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,  Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.  Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.  And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.  And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.  Jeremiah 25:8-12

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;  That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;  That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:  That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:  That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.  Isaiah 44:24-28

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