Search

Hard and Stubborn

Hard and Stubborn

07 September 2011

Reading: 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 40-41; Revelation 12

Scripture:

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. 12 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and he refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the Lord. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God’s name. Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord, the God of Israel. (2 Chronicles 36:11-13 NLT)

This was Judah’s last chance. Even after all that had happened up to now, if Zedekiah had listened to God’s messages of warning and promise through Jeremiah and the other prophets, destruction could have been avoided. Judah and Jerusalem could have lived at peace as part of the Babylonian Empire. But Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man. Jerusalem was captured, the walls destroyed, the Temple burned to the ground, and the people sent away into exile.

Each year I read through the history of God’s great plans for his people Israel and of their day-by-day, year-by-year, decision-by-decision determination to do things their own way, to live for their own selfish purposes, and to worship anything and everything except the One who is worthy. Each year I read of Israel’s glory days under David and Solomon, I read of the idolatry, wickedness, and cruelty of other kings, and I read of the brief moments of revival and hope under Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah. Each year I hope it will turn out different this time, but each year it still happens just the same way. Selfish decisions and wrong choices by hard and stubborn people first split Israel into two nations, then led to successive defeats by their enemies, and ultimately to destruction and exile, and finally they ceased to exist as a nation.

As long as God is speaking and warning, there’s still time – there’s still another chance to change. But eventually, unrepented selfish and sinful choices by hard and stubborn people always leads to destruction and loss! Maybe this time it will turn out different! It’s up to you and me!

Prayer:

Father, I purpose to be pliable and responsive to your hand and your voice. Please give me a heart of flesh on which you can write your word and your ways. I don’t want to be a hard and stubborn man. Let my influence on others lead them to respond with openness and obedience to your word and your will. Amen.

Back to Articles...