Read 2 Chronicles 36
Focus on verses 19 – 21
This last chapter of 2 Chronicles describes the relatively short reigns of the last four kings to sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz reigned only three months before Pharaoh Neco carried him off to Egypt leaving Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim in charge to assure that the tribute he demanded was collected. This was the arrangement until Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded and carried off Eliakim (whose name had been changed to Jehoiakim by Neco) to Babylon as a captive. When Jehoiakim was taken captive his son Jehoiachin assumed the throne for a mere three months before Nebuchadnezzar returned to pillage the nation once more. Jehoiachin was deposed and taken captive to Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah king. Zedekiah continued with the evil practices of his predecessors for eleven years “mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at His prophets, until the level of the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, to where there was no remedy.” When Zedekiah led the people to rebel against the Babylonian occupation, Nebuchadnezzar returned once more mercilessly killing many of the people and carrying off those that survived as slaves along with the rest of the treasure of the land. He broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned the temple of God to the ground. The land of Judah then lay desolate until the words of the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled seventy years later at the command of Cyrus king of Persia who was moved by the Spirit of the Lord to send those who desired to go, back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of God.
The nation of Israel would be restored, but it would never again rise to the level of influence that it had once know in that region of the world. The physical empire that king David built and that king Solomon established was gone forever, but the eternal spiritual kingdom that God had promised to David was yet to come.
Lord, thank you that Your promises never fail. That the kingdoms of earth may rise and fall, but Your kingdom is an eternal kingdom that lasts forever. Thank you that You chose me to be part of that kingdom