Monday, December 27, 2010


          "The successors of Jehoiakim:  Jehoachin and Zedekiah."   (NIV)

   King Josiah, who can be read about in previous chapters, was one of the greatest kings of Judah. However, when his son Jehoiakim inherited the throne from his father, the son proved to be unfaithful in his kingly responsibilities.  He was, in fact, evil. I think it's a shame when it happens that a good man raises up a completely rotten descendant.  Did the success of king Josiah come at the cost of his family?  Did he ignore his sons in order to advance his career? Or did Josiah give too much materially,  thereby erasing ambition and discipline from his sons?  I don't know... just guessing.  We can inherit our parents' title, money, and property.  But we must develop our own character by making the right choices and by forming our own relationship with God.
       Well, anyhow, Jehoiakim's first son later inherited the throne, and he was even more evil than his father!  In reference to this, Jeremiah 22:24 reads: " 'As surely as I live,'  declares the Lord, 'even if you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off.'"   In those days the king's signet ring was a VERY valuable object.  It was used to seal and authenticate all important documents. God was saying to Jehoaichin, "I have no use for you.  Even if you were one of my most valuable possessions, I'd rather throw you away than have you near me.  Because of the extent of your evil I am getting rid of you.  You are not salvageable."  Jehoaichin was exiled to Babylon at the end of his reign as king.

     Next in line for the throne was Jehoiakin's second son, Zedekiah.  There isn't a lot written about him;  he took over a king when his older brother was exiled to Babylon.  He was weak and easily tricked by false prophets and self-serving assistants.  He believed lies, but didn't believe the truth when he heard it.  He died before his exiled brother did.  He was the last of Israel's old testament kings from David's line.
     While it is sad that these kings were so vile,  it remains interesting that God used them in His master plan.
      I guess, that being the case, He can still use you and me...

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