2 King 24:1-9 – Sin Always Has Its Consequences

Posted: October 17, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 24:1-9

Jehoiakim Reigns In Judah

We were having a discussion at the Bible study that I lead at the church that I pastor last night as we reviewed the Paul’s letter to the churches at Rome, the Book of Romans. In that discussion, I was leading our Bible study group through the themes and theology found in the book. As many of you know, the Book of Romans is pretty much the document from which we draw much of Christian theology. The basic principles of our faith can be found there.

In it, we find our belief in the universal sinfulness of man and how he cannot save himself from himself. We are sinners and are made forever imperfect by our first sin (much less the mountain of sins that we commit after that first one). Because we are tainted by sin, just are first sin is enough to permanently taint us, we cannot exist in the presence of a perfect, pure, holy and sinless God. We would be consumed in his presence because of our tainted sin nature that makes us imperfect. Therefore, we are condemned to hell in and of our own merit. There are no amount of good deeds that we can perform to offset our imperfection caused by our first sin and then all those subsequent to it. We are in a mess and are condemned to hell. Nothing we can do on our own to earn a place in heaven with the Lord. We are in need of an intervention, a reprieve, a stay of execution, a pardon, a payment needs to be made to the judge to redeem us from our rightful sentence. That freedom is granted through Jesus Christ. His death on the cross is the payment that was made on our behalf. God states that Jesus died on the cross as a sacrificial payment for our sins. All we have to do to cash in this payment is earnestly believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was for my sins and to clean my slate in the presence of the righteous judge, God. We must believe that Jesus Christ is more than a man. We must believe He is the Son of God, who is of one and the same essence as the Father in heaven. If we believe that will all earnestness, God will send the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and daily, step by step, day by day, makes us more and more like the perfect, sinless Jesus every day. When we accept Christ as our Savior and our Lord, we are made clean before God through His imputed grace through Jesus Christ. When God looks at us now, he sees our covering of perfection in Jesus Christ. We are free in Jesus’ covering from the penalty for our sin. We are assured of our place in heaven with God by our belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who rose from the dead to conquer sin and death. However, it does not mean that we will not sin any more. We are flesh and we will sin after salvation. It is through the Holy Spirit that He helps us identify our sins and helps us begin to turn away from each one as we mature in Christ. Some sins are more stubborn for us than others and it takes the Holy Spirit a lifetime to get us to let go of some of them. But as time progresses from the day of our salvation, we are getting more and more like Christ little by little. It is a process and it sometimes hard and painful.

In our discussion of these themes from Romans, one of the profound things that we talked about was the fact that, yes, salvation saves us from the penalty for our sins, hell. However, God never said that he would save us from the consequences of our sins. Even after salvation we will deal with the consequences of our sins – sometimes for a lifetime. Even after we have been forgiven and have repented of sin either before or even after salvation, we will still suffer the consequences of sin. Consequences are part of the governing laws of the universe set forth by God. The universe is governed by the basic law of cause and effect. Our sins are causes that create effects that cannot be changed. I used my youngest daughter as an example. I hope and pray that she finds salvation in Jesus Christ during her time in rehab. That would be an answered prayer that has been prayed for a long time by many. However, her going into rehab, her finding Jesus there (we pray), will not relieve her of the consequences of her life decisions. We all sin. All sins create consequences that cannot be changed and must be dealt with as part of our growing into maturity in Christ. We do not get a free pass on the consequences of our sins even after salvation.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read of the beginning of the end for the southern kingdom of Judah. The consequences of their disobedience to God is that they became a weakened nation that could no longer fend off its enemies. They will eventually be completely overrun. But the decline from independent nation to subservient nation to conquered nation begins here. There has been a long line of evil kings and evil decisions and mistakenly short-sighted and nation-weakening decisions made by Judah’s kings for centuries. The consequences of this disobedience to the Lord and all the self-centered and short-sighted decisions are now coming to roost. Judah is now a weak little nation that cannot defend itself and it is being eaten alive by the surrounding nations. It is a far cry from the ancient Middle East’s leading nation that the united kingdom was under David and Solomon. Sins have consequences that are cumulative and cascading. Cause and effect. A law of the universe created by God. Sin is no different. It has consequences that cannot be changed.

Chapter 24

1 During Jehoiakim’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up; Jehoiakim became his servant for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 The Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, bands of the Arameans, bands of the Moabites, and bands of the Ammonites; he sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the Lord, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, for all that he had committed, 4 and also for the innocent blood that he had shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to pardon. 5 Now the rest of the deeds of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 6 So Jehoiakim slept with his ancestors; then his son Jehoiachin succeeded him. 7 The king of Egypt did not come again out of his land, for the king of Babylon had taken over all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the Wadi of Egypt to the River Euphrates.

Reign and Captivity of Jehoiachin

8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father had done.

In this passage, we see that Babylon is now the leading power in the ancient Middle East after overthrowing Assyria in 612 BC and defeating Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC. After defeating Egypt, the Babylonians invaded Judah and brought it under their control. This was the first of three invasions of Judah over the next 20 years. The other two invasions occurred in 597 and 586 BC. With each invasion, captives were taken back to Babylon. Daniel was one of the captives taken in the first invasion in 605 BC (see Daniel 1:1-6).

From this passage, we see that Judah is now paying the consequences for its long history of ignoring and disobeying God. May we as Christ followers take heed from the stories of the northern and southern kingdoms (Israel and Judah) and see that sin has its cascading consequences. Sure, a sin may be fun for the moment. It may give us pleasure and a sense of victory, but sins always have consequences. Help us Lord to remember to think twice before we jump into a sin. Let us think about the “down the road” impacts of our sins before we commit them. Is the sin really worth it? Sins are always exposed and they always have consequences. So is it really worth it? Help us Lord to think of the consequences of our sins and help us to turn away from them. Help us to become more and more like you every day so that these decisions about sins are second nature and are easier to make as we mature in our relationship with you.

Amen and Amen.

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