Zedekiah reigned nine years in Judah, then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged the city of Jerusalem for two years. Due to famine conditions, the men of war broke through their own walls and fled at night, but were pursued by the Chaldean king, who caught them in Jericho. They were scattered, and the king was brought to Nebuchadnezzar in Riblah. His sons were killed before his eyes, and then they put out his eyes. They then bound him and took him to Babylon, along with many Israelites. Nebuzaradan, captain of the Babylonian guard, came to Jerusalem, burned the Lord’s house and the king’s house, and all the houses of the city. He broke down the city walls and carried the rest of the residents away captive, except for some poor people left to care for the vineyards and farms.
He also tore down all the bronze, silver, and gold structures and utensils, broke them in pieces, and carried them away to Babylon. Nebuzaradan took the priests and the officers of the army captive to Nebuchadnezzar in Riblah, and they were killed. The king made Gedaliah governor of Judah, and he comforted the people that were left, encouraging them to serve Babylon and it would be well with them. However, those left in Judah killed him seven months later and fled to Egypt, fearing the Chaldeans.
The Chaldeans (Babylonians) were the instrument of judgement on Judah. Notice the utter destruction demonstrated by the actions of Babylon. They shamed the king, they killed the priesthood, and they killed the men of war. In our lives, it is amazing to see the parallels in what the enemy, Satan, wants to do to destroy individuals or churches, and take them into captivity. The world is today attempting to shame the King of the churches and Christians by calling His teachings hate and marginalizing Christianity. Ministers are de-valued in today’s society and not given a place of respect as high as that of policemen, firemen, and teachers, and some of that lack of respect is of their own doing. The priesthood is under attack. Our willingness and our ability to defend the faith is weakening through apathy and busyness, so our men of war are few and far between. Let us rise up and re-establish Jesus as King, the ministry as trustworthy and full of integrity, and the men of God as strong and courageous in the face of opposition. If we do that, the world will see the Kingdom of God established and the gates of hell will not prevail!