Defending in Destruction
(2 Kings 24:1-6)
(Jeremiah 22:18-23; 48:1-47; 49:1-33)
The Fate of Jehoiakim
In today’s Bible readings, we learn of the Lord’s judgment upon the pagan nations surrounding Judah and Israel, prophesied by Jeremiah. The death of King Jehoiakim, who had burned the scrolls of Jeremiah, was also foretold. According to the prophecy, Jehoiakim would die in infamy and disgrace, dragged like a donkey outside the city gates (see Jeremiah 22:18-23).
Prompted by the Spirit of the Lord, Jeremiah described the fates of Moab, Ammon. Edom, Damascus, Kedar, and Hazor.
What is most striking about these accounts of destruction?
Often, a single line or two in Scripture may reveal much about the character of the Lord. In the passage detailing the ruin of Edom, Jeremiah proclaimed a merciful statement from God.
“’But I will strip Esau bare;
I will uncover his hiding places,
so that he cannot conceal himself.
His children, relatives and neighbors will perish,
and he will be no more.
Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives.
Your widows too can trust in Me.’"
(Jeremiah 49:10-11, NIV, emphasis added)
Whom does the Lord protect, even among the pagan peoples? Clearly, Jehovah-Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts, our Protector) carries a special compassion for those who cannot defend themselves. Orphans and widows may be fully aware of their need for His mighty help and rescue.
Benjamin Franklin wrote (in his famous volume, Poor Richard’s Almanack): “God helps those who help themselves.” Although this proverbial statement may prod us to action, it may also deny the humility our gracious God requires of those who love Him. Will we admit our need for Him, opening our hearts for His help?
Will you pray with me?
Our Healer and Defender,
We turn to You,
For we need You now
And every day.
Keep us humble, Lord.
Show us how much
We depend on You
Abolish our independent spirits,
So that You may fill us
With Your own Spirit.
For Your Spirit alone
Is power and might