What a chapter.
Most of it is way over my head in learning but I do get a couple of things pretty well, I think.
Two years Jerusalem was under siege by the king of Babylon.
It was a successful tactic. Nebuchadnezzar starved them out.
But before you get too violent toward Neb, know this — had Israel/Judah repented of her idolatry, captivity would not have happened.
Lesson: repent of all idolatry immediately. Idolatry will surely put the worshipper in chains and eventually bring eternal death.
If you want a glimpse of how brutal this got check out what happened to king Zedekiah, particularly in verses 6 and 7. But prior to that, you will read he fled the City and oh when they caught him.
Then there is verse 12. See what you think.
12 But the commander of the guard left behind some of the poor people of the land to be vineyard-workers and farmers. source
Do you wonder why? I do.
Did he leave them as a tiny bit of compassion or were they so insignificant (he thought) that they could be of no help or harm to Babylon?
And then as we read on there is Gedaliah.
A voice of reason.
Hear what he said.
24 And Gedaliah swore to them and their men and said to them, “Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans; live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well for you.” source
Was he saying, perhaps not but if not he should have?
Repent. Trust GOD, take the punishment we have earned, live in the land, obey the king (as long as we are not commanded to worship him) and things will go well with us.
There’s a BUT in the next verse.
A big one!
25 But in midautumn of that year, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family, went to Mizpah with ten men and killed Gedaliah. He also killed all the Judeans and Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. source
Lesson: Truth is not popular.
Speak it anyway.
Yes. It might get you to Heaven swiftly but isn’t it true of a real Christian – to live is Christ and to die is gain?