The Fall of Zedekiah
- The fall of Jerusalem and the end of the
kingdom of Judah was a sad time period.
- Josiah was the last good king
of Israel, and the kings that ruled after him did evil.
- II Kings 24:8-12 - King Jehoiachin began his reign at the age of 18. He
lasted 3 months before Nebuchadnezzar came, besieged Jerusalem for 8 years, and led all
the elite into captivity.
- II Kings 24:17-20 - Zedekiah, Jehoiachins uncle, was placed on the
throne by Nebu.
- Yet Zedekiah rebelled against God
and against the king who gave him the throne.
- II Chron.
36:11-17 lists the sins of Zedekiah
- Zedekiah refused to accept the Pronouncements
- Jer. 27:1-11 - God warned him his only hope was in
submitting to Nebuchadnezzar.
- Many prophets willing to tell the king he would succeed in throwing
off the yoke of Babylon.
- Jeremiah pleads w/king, priests
and people to listen to God, ignore the false prophets. (Jer. 27:12-22)
- Zedekiah preferred their message.
- (Jer.28) - Even when one of the more vocal false prophets,
Hananiah, died in fulfillment of Jeremiahs prophecy, proving that Jeremiah spoke for
God, still Zedekiah did not listen.
- There was no rational reason for listening to the
false prophets, but Zedekiah did.
- Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar came
to collect against his rebellious king
- Zedekiah hoped for a miracle Jer. 21:1-10
- It is interesting that
Zedekiahs messenger is Pashhur. Pashhur was the priest who earlier had Jeremiah
beaten for prophesying the fall of Jerusalem Jer. 19:14-20:2
- I wonder if Zedekiah was trying to intimidate
Jeremiah or simply was unthinking.
- Jeremiahs message was
that Zedekiahs only hope was to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar.
- Zedekiah made a show of
pleasing God. The law required the release of all slaves on the year of Jubilee. This
Zedekiah commanded, but then had all the slaves put back into slavery Jer. 34:8-17.
- The Lord was not pleased by this shallow display
of contempt/mocking His will.
- Zedekiah was not a man of his
- Zedekiah made deal with
Egyptians to rescue Judah, but God would not let it succeed Jer. 37:1-10
- The Egyptians retreated.
- The Israelites did get a small break from seige while the Babylonians drove off the
- Jeremiah, was arrested as he was about to leave
the city - Jer. 37:11-16
- Zedekiah looked for a way out, but he wanted it
on his terms
- Jer. 37:17-21 - Zedekiah brings Jeremiah to him
- Imprisonment a chance occurrence?
- It appears Zedekiah is trying to pressure Jeremiah
to give him the answer he wanted.
- He later allowed men to attempt to kill Jeremiah
- He then rescued Jeremiah at
the urging of a good man Jer.
- Zedekiah again calls Jeremiah in for a
private word Jer. 38:14-23
- The final siege of Jerusalem began in the ninth
year of Zedekiahs reign. It lasted over two years.
- After the first year, Zedekiah
has Jeremiah thrown back into prison - Jeremiah 32:1-5
- He still refused to believe the message of
Jeremiah. He wanted a different prophecy.
- The siege became so severe that
people were eating their own children - Jeremiah 52:6
- During the eleventh year of
Zedekiahs reign, the outer wall of Jerusalem was breeched.
- After all the warnings, Zedekiah did a
cowardly thing. He took a select group of armed men and sneaked out of the city. - Jeremiah 52:7
- Because of his stubbornness, Jerusalem was sieged.
- Now when it was certain the city would fall,
Zedekiah was going to leave the city to the enemies!
- He did not get very far, only about 15 miles - Jeremiah 52:8-11
- Thus he fulfilled the prophecy of
Ezekiel - Ezekiel 13:12-13
- What do we learn?
- Man cannot change the will of
God. The intimation of Gods messengers did not change the message.
- They mocked the message, but
the result remained, destruction for disobedience.
- Today, The
judgment of God has been pronounced on this world - II Peter 3:3-12
- People have tried to legislate religion so they and their children do not need to hear the message.
- Christianity is spoken of negatively in many areas of our country.
- Churches are changing their message to soothe the people. Let the Spirit Lead You!
- They only play at religion,
much like Zedekiah, but it doesnt change their lives.
- But nothing has changed. The end is fixed and
we know the outcome.
- Are We going to be like
- Trying to force the answer we want or will we
humble ourselves before God and submit to His will?
Heres a little story about a man named Zed,
Wouldnt listen, to what the Prophet Said,
III. - Looked
for a miracle or sign Instead,
IV. - Wanted
help from Egypt, or Jeremiahs head.
V. - Zed
. Blinded then Dead.