What we see happening to Judah in 2 Kings 25 is God’s judgement for the evil they continued to do. God used the Babylonians to carry out his punishment and it’s hard. Honestly, it’s hard to read. You can almost hear the anguished cries of the people as their homes, lives, freedom, and all they once held dear are stripped away.
Even after repeated warnings from the Prophet Jeremiah, the people of Judah chose to rebel against God and this was the consequence. There are always consequences when we choose our own way instead of God’s way. Sometimes there are natural consequences to our choices and other times we see God’s hand of discipline in our lives.
The people of Judah were receiving the full wages of their sin. Keep in mind that God disciplines those he loves, and sin cannot go unpunished.
Note the severe consequences of sin in verse 7. King Zedekiah was forced to watch his sons die. His eyes were then gouged out, and he lived as a slave until his death in Babylon. Zedekiah’s rebellion took him further than he could have imagined. That’s what sin does–it leads to a host of unintended consequences.
While 2 Kings 25 stands as a warning to those at odds with God, it also stands a testament to God’s great mercy.
Look at verses 27-30. King Jehoiachin was King of Judah before Zedekiah, and he was rebellious too. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon had Jehoiachin imprisoned, and there Jehoiachin sat for thirty-seven years.
His sin put him there. It was his own fault. His wife, kids, servants, all taken away and he would die in prison. But one day, a new King of Babylon ascended to the throne, showed kindness to Jehoiachin and released him from prison. He was given new clothes and allowed to dine with the new king for the rest of his life.
There was nothing Jehoiachin did to earn this kindness, it was simply given. God showed grace, mercy & His heart for restoration.
This is what God does for us through Jesus. We are sinners deserving the full wages of our sin like the people of Judah, but instead, we are offered freedom from our prison of sin and a seat at the King’s table through Jesus.
This is the best news ever. It’s good news–the Gospel