In spite of . . . .
Zedekiah is one of the many lesser-knowns in the Bible, though he was the last king of the southern kingdom of Judah at the time of Jerusalem’s fall to Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B. C.
Zedekiah had at least two positive influences in his life that should have prompted him to make wiser choices. His father Josiah was one of the most godly kings Judah ever had. And Jeremiah, God’s prophet, tried repeatedly to persuade Zedekiah to obey God.
In spite of his father’s example and Jeremiah’s warnings, Zedekiah was determined to go his own way. Paying dearly for his foolish choices, he lost his home, his throne, and his freedom. At age 32 the last thing Zedekiah saw before being blinded was the slaying of his sons before his eyes. He died a prisoner in a foreign land (Jeremiah 52:7-11).
If only . . . .
And all this tragedy could have been averted if only had he been willing to obey.
His life is summed up in these sad words: “He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for the LORD . . . . he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel” (2 Chronicles 36:12-13).
The following certainly describes Zedekiah: “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).
What he wanted but didn’t get
The following is a telling passage: “But neither he [Zedekiah] nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. Yet King Zedekiah sent . . . to Jeremiah the prophet saying, ‘Please pray to the LORD our God on our behalf” (Jeremiah 37:2-3).
Zedekiah wanted God’s protection but not His direction.
We can’t have it both ways.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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