January 31, 2007


2 Kings 25

So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes ...

—  2 Kings 25:29

This is complicated--and awful: it is Judah's turn to go into exile, in 586 BC, as punishment for their sins. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had already come to take Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, prisoner (2 Kings 24). Then Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle, Zedekiah, his puppet king. And when Zedekiah rebelled, Nebuchadnezzar ransacked Jerusalem, killed the prophets and priests of God, slaughtered Zedekiah's sons in front of Zedekiah, and then put out Zedekiah's eyes.

Yes, we pay for our sins. Have you met people who lived in sin and then repented and turned to God? They talk about their years without the Lord in the language of punishment: "Brutal." "Wasted." "Lost everything." "Misery." "Trapped." "Blind."

But there is hope for Judah, and hope for us. After a regime change in Babylon, Jehoiachin could "put aside his prison clothes" and sit at Babylon's royal table. The new king "spoke kindly to him."

There can be a regime change in your life too. Satan is brutal, and the punishments of slavery to sin are horrific. But "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). You can set the old, miserable, bloody clothing of sin aside and start a new life. God speaks kindly, God heals, and he invites you to come and sit at the King's table. See you there!

Father, take over the throne of my life. Lead me out of my prison of sin. Speak kindly to me each day, and help me to hear and obey. Thank you! For Jesus' sake, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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