ODJ: compassionate warnings

November 12, 2013 

READ: 2 Chronicles 36:11-21 

The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent His prophets to warn them, for He had compassion on His people (v.15). 

I said, “I’m here for you when you really want to seek God. Although I’ve tried to help you to follow Jesus, our times together have simply become you recounting your continued sins and lack of spiritual interest.” Then, after praying for him, I set him free from my attempts to disciple him. Sadly he’s never been willing to humble himself, repent of his sins and follow God.

Much like that young man, the last king of the Old Testament also failed to listen to counsel that pointed Him to God and His Word. Zedekiah, king of Judah, had been placed in his position by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Judah, at that time, was a tributary to Babylon after Jerusalem had been invaded and conquered in 597 BC.

Zedekiah was an evil king who failed to humble himself before God (2 Chronicles 36:12). He also “rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God’s name” (v.13). Along with the king, the priests and the people of Judah also were unfaithful (v.14). But God “repeatedly sent His prophets to warn them, for He had compassion on His people” (v.15, emphasis added).

The prophet Jeremiah urged Zedekiah to follow God’s plans, but the king continued to rebel (Jeremiah 27,34). Finally, God’s promise to send rebellious Judah into captivity came true (7:12-15). Babylon crushed Jerusalem in 586 BC, killing many and carting off others, along with anything of value (2 Chronicles 36:17-20). Zedekiah was forced to watch his sons being slaughtered in front of him. Then his eyes were put out and he was placed in chains and led away to Babylon (2 Kings 25:7).

Is someone compassionately warning you to repent of your sin and follow God? Listen, and turn. —Tom Felten

Read Jeremiah 5:10-13 and notice how the people responded to God’s prophets and His compassionate warnings. 
Why do we sometimes not want to hear God’s compassionate warnings? What do you need to turn from today as you turn to God?