Thursday, October 16, 2014
The End – Part I: Capture
Over the next days we will look closely at the end which came to Jerusalem, the end that Jeremiah predicted. We will examine the verses carefully, looking for a hint of lessons we might learn from this ancient people who would not heed a warning so clearly spelled out for them. We will explore our own temptation to deny the reality in which we live. And we will consider what lessons we might learn so that our own end becomes a new beginning rather than a final departure.
Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
God says: Watch for the times when you believe you have all answers to all problems. When you learn to rely on yourself alone you draw hour heart away from me . . . and this is an end that is difficult to overcome.
His mother’s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
God says: Your parents bring you into this world and they tend to you while you are young. I tend to you for now, in the past, and into the infinite future. This is a relationship you will not want to ignore.
He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, Just as Jehoiakim had done.
God says: I do not ask much of you but I do ask is that you enact goodness in the world. In order to do this well it is essential that you listen for my word daily and that stay always close by and in me.
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
God says: Be careful about the alliances you make and break. Use caution when you pledge yourself to another person or cause. These may be your undoing if you do not exercise great care.
In the tenth month of the tenth year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege walls on every side.
Jerusalem: Zedekiah’s Cave
God says: When the enemy threatens, turn to me. When the earth rumbles with the steady onslaught of forces that will surely overcome you, stay with me.
The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
God says: When you feel you can no longer go on, turn your struggle over to me.
On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine gripped the city and the people had no more bread, the city walls were breached.
God says: When you struggle to lift your head and raise your arm, place your burden on my broad shoulders.
Then all the soldiers took to flight and left the city by night through the gate between the two walls which was near the king’s garden.
God says: When everyone else abandons you, remain in me. You are never alone for I am always with you.
With the Chaldeans surrounding the city they went in the direction of the Arabah.
God says: Do not think that you can avoid or outrun me. Do not be anxious that you may be unworthy. I am waiting to heal and transform you, and for me all things are possible.
But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the desert near Jericho, while his whole army fled him.
God says: Even when you have strayed far from my precepts and my truth I will still welcome you home and celebrate your return. This is how much I love you.
Tomorrow, Part II . . . Destruction
To learn more about King Zedekiah, click on his images above and find study outlines at: http://biblestudyoutlines.org/bible-study-outlines/bible-study-outline-on-king-zedekiah/
Find video at: http://bibleseriesguide.com/episode5.htm#.VDb_L_ldWSo
To learn about the enormous cave under the city of Jerusalem, how it came to be there, and why the Freemasons gather there every year, click on the cave image above or visit www.aboutjerusalem.com at: http://allaboutjerusalem.com/article/zedekiahs-cave-secret-cave-jerusalem to watch a brief, interesting video clip.