2 Kings 25:27-30, “In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. He did this on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put aside prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived.” (NIV)
Cynicism – it is one of the most devastating inhibitors to cultivating a healthy spiritual life. Sadly, Christians can often exhibit signs of cynicism. The primary traits of a Christian cynic are a calloused attitude, and a pervasive negativity. In this state, faith in God is restricted – God is not perceived as noble, or good. Habitual cynics will justify their stance at every opportunity. “Do you know how many letdowns and hardships I have been exposed to in my lifetime?”, a cynic might say. Yes, it is understandable why pessimism reigns in a cynic’s life, even a Christian one, but that does not make it ideal, or ok. The God of the universe, the sovereign Lord, has proven His ability to restore, to heal, over and over. So how can we ever doubt God’s reign, or rule? 2 Kings 25:27-30 is but one of many examples that reveal the Lord is able to make His holy light shine in the world’s darkness.
According to 2 Kings 24:8 King Jehoiachin was just 18 years old when Jerusalem fell to Babylon. Immediately, King Jehoiachin was stripped of his throne, exiled to Babylon, and put in prison. And he remained in prison for nearly four decades. But then after thirty-seven years of life as a captive Jehoiachin was released and given a seat of honor among Babylon’s court officials. Jehoiachin was forced out of Jerusalem as a teenager, and spent the majority of his life in humiliating conditions. He rejected God (2 Kings 24:9), and chose to practice idolatry before the exile. And yet God’s indelible grace broke through, as only God’s grace can. Around the age of fifty-five Jehoiachin was restored to a place of importance, and distinction.
Even in harsh circumstances God’s favor and kindness can be found. Jehoiachin was effectively a ward of the state – a trophy of a superior foe. But when Nebuchadnezzar passed away and his successor took over Jehoiachin was granted blessing, esteem, and prominence. And this was no small thing. In many ways, this passage resembles a portion of Psalm 23 – specifically Psalm 23:5. Jehoiachin was given a seat at the table of his enemy. He was feed from the pantry of a pagan king. He was given a new wardrobe, and forever discarded the prison attire. Truly God can bring about remarkable moments in the midst of strife and uncertainty.
2 Kings 25:27-30 affirms the benevolent nature of God. Even in our suffering the Lord longs to remedy the pain. Even in our punishment He longs to lessen the ailment. Clearly, God does not seek to trample or destroy, but to redeem and give hope. The Lord’s mercy is still visible even in the bleakest of earthly circumstances. So let us find comfort knowing that we serve the God Who eternally restores.
Kevin Orr (9/6/2018)