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People Become Captives
Bible Passage 2 Kings 25:8-21
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2022 & books 2 Kings, Jeremiah, Lamentations.

God’s People Become Captives

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached December 8, 2022

SCRIPTURE 📖
8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month (it was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) Nebuzaradan, the chief of the executioners, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.

9 And he burned the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem. And every great one’s house he burned with fire.

10 And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the chief of the executioners broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around.

11 And the rest of the people who were left in the city, and the fugitives who fell away to the king of Babylon with the rest of the multitude, the chief of the executioners carried away.

12 But the chief of the executioners left a few of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.

13 And the bronze pillars in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the bronze sea in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke into pieces and carried the bronze to Babylon.

14 And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of bronze with which they ministered, they also took away.

15 And the chief of the executioners took away the censers and the bowls that were all of solid gold, and all of solid silver;

16 Also the two pillars, the one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the LORD. The bronze of all these vessels was without weight.

17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the capital upon it was bronze. And the height of the capital was three cubits. And the grating and the pomegranates upon the capital all around were all of bronze. And the second pillar had grating like these.

18 And the chief of the executioners took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three doorkeepers.

19 And he took out of the city a certain officer who was appointed over the men of war, and five men of those who were in the king’s presence, who were found in the city, and the chief scribe of the army (who called up the people of the land together), and sixty men of the people of the land found in the city.

20 And Nebuzaradan the chief of the executioners took these and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.

21 And the king of Babylon struck them and killed them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. And he exiled Judah from its land.

BACKGROUND ✝
In such difficult times, Judah had to face Babylon in fights. King Zedekiah was advised by some to align with Egypt to come against Babylon. The king of Babylon, king Nebuchadnezzar decided to crush the rebellious city once and for all. When Egypt came to Jerusalem’s (city of Judah) aid, the siege was temporarily lifted, but the prophet Jeremiah warned that this would only make Babylon more determined to crush Judah, and Egypt with it. The pro-Egypt party accused Jeremiah of being a traitor and had him imprisoned (see Jer 37:1-38:28).

The Babylonians returned and soon Jeremiah’s prophecy came true. The horrors of the siege are vividly described in the book of Lamentations (Lam. 2:10-12,19-21; 4:4-5,7-10). When, after a year and six months, the Babylonians finally made a break in the wall, Zedekiah and some of his men tried to escape but were captured (2 Kings 25:1-7).

Today’s scripture describes how Babylonian soldiers poured into the city, seizing anything of value that could be taken back to Babylon, and burning or smashing what remained. This was the end of Jerusalem (587 BC). The leaders of the rebellion were killed, and the most useful citizens were taken captive (verses 8-17).

This was a month after Babylon’s army had entered Jerusalem, and their leader Nebuzaradan burned down the temple. He also destroyed the palace and important houses. His soldiers pulled down the city’s walls. They took most people as prisoners to Babylon.

In the course of arresting the chief officials of Jerusalem, the Babylonians released Jeremiah from jail and gave him full freedom to decide where he would like to live, Babylon or Judah. Jeremiah chose to stay in Judah with a small number of farmers and other poorer people who were of no use to Babylon (verse 18-21; Jer 39:11-40:6).

LESSONS ✍🏽
🔷 God’s warning comes to us daily. We must listen and act

🔷 God may allow the enemy to teach us lessons if we deny His words and instructions

🔷 No form of allegiance or alliance will bring victory that is outside the plan of God

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Ask God to pardon your disobedience
💥 Pray for a listening heart to obey the instructions of God

CONCLUSION📙
God will be displeased with us and punish us when we turn our back to Him. We must listen to God and act with fear and trembling so we do not suffer punishment from God’s hand, especially through enemies.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections