2 KINGS 23:31-25:30 | ACTS 22:17-23:10 | PSALM 2:1-12 | PROVERBS 18:13
Jehoahaz is the new king of Judah, but there’s nothing new about what he does: he does what most of his ancestors have done in that he resorts to the idolatry and worship of molten and graven images.
And so, it isn’t long before Jehoahaz is defeated by the pharaoh of the day in Egypt, and is taken prisoner. The next in line to the throne is Jehoiakim, son of Jehoahaz. This king faces the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar, the infamous king of Babylon who captures and kills him.
The next king is Jehoiachin who is no different from his predecessors, and he is also routed by Nebuchadnezzar, but instead of killing him, Nebuchadnezzar takes him off as a prisoner of war.
The text tells us: 13 As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD.
Jehoiachin is taken as prisoner of war, and in his place, his uncle Zedekiah is appointed as the new king. But Zedekiah, it is said, felt no loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar and rebels against him. And so Jerusalem is beseiged, Zedekiah is killed, the Temple completely destroyed, and all the priests are taken as prisoners and executed.
It is indeed a most horrific and unimaginable thing that has happened, but it has happened indeed. Nebuchadnezzar appoints a governor of sorts, a man by the name of Gedaliah as governor of Judah, but even he is soon assassinated by his own people.
There is utter chaos and desolation in the land of Judah.
In the meantime, Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, Awel-Marduk, decides to release Johoiachin from prison. It is to be seen how things turn out on this new front.
But turning now to our reading in the book of Acts, we find Paul making this claim to the Sanhedrin, the religious body in Jerusalem who has had him arrested and is considering the most vague charges against him—charges related to blasphemy because Paul is preaching that Jesus is the Messiah that the Jewish people have been waiting for.
He says: “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”
It is to be seen how this might become resolved.
Turning next to our reading from the psalms, we find David, the great poet-king serving as a mouthpiece for the Lord Almighty:
7 I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
And finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs that King Solomon must have penned with me in mind:
13 To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame.