A siege is slow relentless death, and, in the original Hebrew, the fall of Jerusalem is told in one long methodical twelve-verse sentence (2Kings 25:1-12, English introduces periods to ease the read). “The ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month” (v 1) stretches to “the ninth day of the fourth month” (v 3) of year eleven, and in eighteen months all is done. A breach in the wall, the Chaldean army rushes in and chases the last king of Judah to the plains of Jericho. A fitting end, where it all began when Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the people shouted and the trumpets blew and the walls came tumbling down (Joshua 6). Now it was Jerusalem’s turn, “and all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem” (2Kings 25:10).
There is no emotion in this account. God’s prophet Jeremiah weeps over the fall of Jerusalem in his book of Lamentations, but here is the dispassionate voice of a court reporter recounting the execution of judgment. Judah had her good kings, but not enough, and the country is judged for the whole of her sins. Josiah’s reign (2Kings 22-23) had been a brief reprieve, but he was followed by Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, and a nation cannot endure evil upon evil upon evil.
“The wages of sin is death,” for nations, as well as for you and me, but there is hope in a salvation. There will come a new king, a righteous one whose reign will not be brief, but forever, bringing with him “the free gift of God, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
My God, You are righteous and good and holy and just. I am not. Created in Your image, I chose my own way rather than yours, and my sin led to judgment and that judgment is death. There was such hopelessness in life without You. Thank You for rescuing me, for delivering me from death, returning me to hope, and giving me a life that overflows with Your love.
May my thankfulness be evident in a life changed by Your love. May I walk in Your truth, full of grace, sharing Your goodness by word and deed with all who cross my path. May I seek opportunities to share Your love in the same way You sought me. Thank You for so great a salvation, such a wonderful Savior.