And he carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. The king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officers, and the mighty of the land he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. (2 Kings 24:15)
Scripture warns that, “the way of the unfaithful is hard.” (Prov.13:15b) Sin allures us with the promise of pleasure, but transforms into a cruel taskmaster that brings pain instead. Now, the results of sin are not always immediate. Because some sin and seem to get by with it for a while they are enticed to sin even more. But one day the inevitable consequences emerge.
In 2 Kings 24-25, we see the way of the unfaithful.
We observe first that IT LEADS TO BONDAGE (24:8-16). That sin brings bondage is illustrated in the reign of Jehoiachin.
Sin is seductive, but it can be resisted. God will make a way of escape, if we choose to do it. Jehoiachin’s father had set a bad example and the environment he lived in was godless. Still, he had the power of choice. Sadly, he chose to reject God’s law and write his own rules.
Sin promises freedom, but produces the exact opposite. Nebuchadnezzar was God’s scourge. At least, Jehoiachin submitted to God’s discipline. There are those who continue to resist and must be dealt with more severely. Jehoiachin’s response will eventually lead to somewhat of a restoration, but he will never fully recover and know what might have been had he stayed true to God. Our sin affects others, like ripples from a stone dropped in a pond, extending outward and we know not how far. Jehoiachin’s family and many others were carried into captivity with the unfaithful king.
Furthermore the way of the unfaithful is hard for IT LEADS TO BLINDNESS (24:17-25:7). King Zedekiah illustrates this blindness.
Zedekiah was placed in a position of influence. He had an opportunity to do right. He did not. We are fools to fail to seize the opportunity when it comes. He rebelled against God’s authority and against God’s human representative Nebuchadnezzar (for government is ordained by God).
Sin in the heart is manifested in the life. God hedged him in and afflicted him, but instead of submitting, he ran. The results were tragic for his family was lost (25:7), and so was his vision. Defiance against God’s law leads to darkness.
Finally, the way of the unfaithful is hard for IT LEADS TO BROKENNESS (25:8-30). This is illustrated by the fall of Jerusalem.
Our God is a consuming fire. He burns up the chaff. He ignites the fruitless branches. Jerusalem was literally torched. The nation would not worship God, so the house of God was removed. They wanted paganism, so God would let them have their fill of it in the heathen land of Babylon. Fear put them to flight. Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Though the king and the people were unfaithful, God was faithful to His covenant made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. Jehoiachin receives mercy and that works a change in his life. God is committed to mold his people one way or another. We are human clay in the Divine Potter’s hands. When clay is formed and begins to unravel on the wheel, it is due to impurity in the clay—that then must be broken down and the grit removed before it can be remodeled. There is then the pressure exerted and the firing of the clay. God is faithful to form us.