July 16

2 Kings 25:19-21 19Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of his men who were found in the city. 20Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land.

All the kings who came after Josiah were ungodly. The Pharaoh of Egypt put Josiah's son in chains after his three-month reign. Each successive king paid tribute to Egypt, and the last king paid tribute to Babylon. The final king was Zedekiah. He rebelled against Babylon but was captured. His sons were murdered before his eyes, and then his eyes were put out.

The buildings of Jerusalem were burned and pulled down. The temple was completely looted before it, too, was torn down. That was the sad end of Israel. 2 Kings 24:3,4 tells us that God was unwilling to forgive the land because of the idolatry and murders committed by King Manasseh. His legacy had so infected the nation that even the reforms of Josiah could not purge it.

Our passage today tells of the final destruction of what was left in Jerusalem. We are all like the nation of Israel. There is a call on our lives to live as an example of our God. Our life is to be a witness to the world. We are enticed along the way to do evil, to turn to other things besides the LORD for our pleasure. At times we are like David, Hezekiah, and Josiah, the good kings. At other times we are enticed to go the way of Manasseh. Like Israel we have choices that affect our destiny. Will we be as stubborn as they were and go our own way, so that, in the end, the justice of God must remove us? Or will we be what God has called us to be, examples of His truth, so that His blessings can overflow from our lives to the world? We are each a little king. Many lives are affected by our commitment or lack thereof. Serve the LORD with your whole heart!

Consider: What kind of a record would be left of my life if I died today?