And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls of Jerusalem all around. (Jeremiah 52:14)
The repeated warnings had been ignored. The opportunity for repentance had passed. Jerusalem’s sins had breached the dam of God’s patience, and now wrath will overflow.
Zedekiah sat upon the throne—the last of the line of wicked kings. He will preside over Jerusalem’s fall. Like a summer storm, with clouds deepening, Babylon’s forces encircled Jerusalem. Jewish resolve had withered away like their physical strength, as they were starving under the siege. Then, a sudden the thunder clap, and the storm broke—Babylon’s armies breaching Jerusalem’s defenses. Zedekiah attempted a getaway, but was apprehended. His fate would be horrible—watching his sons executed before his eyes, and then having his eyes put out, so the final image burned in his mind was of his children’s gruesome death.
It did not have to be. By this time there was no escape for Zedekiah, or Jerusalem, but previously God had provided them a way to avoid judgment—repentance! They would not turn from their wickedness, however, and seek the Lord. Jerusalem was burned—the walls broken into rubble. The inhabitants were taken captive and the Temple spoiled of its treasure then destroyed. Only some of the poor were left behind to care for Nebuchadnezzar’s fields. For seventy years, the Jews will languish in exile.
In the midst of the dark clouds of judgment, the sun beam of grace breaks through. Another King who had been captured—Jehoiachin—would later be liberated from prison and cared for the rest of his days. In wrath, God remembers mercy.
Can we as a nation think we will be the exception to the rule? With the current trajectory we find our country on, the end of the line will be judgment. One day will be our last day, and might it be this day? Have the dark forces not already breached our spiritual defenses and carried away our sons and daughters as captives to their will? If there is any hope, then we must quickly, fervently, and sincerely seek the Lord! The clock is ticking.