Jehoiachin surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar almost four decade ago. Now he is released from prison but not free to return home.
Jehoiachin was the only king to voluntarily surrender himself and his people to an invading army. I’m sure he had his reasons for doing so but it still landed him in prison. He stayed there until the death of Nebuchadnezzar.
Evil-merodach, Nebuchadnezzar’s son had mercy on him. What was it that he saw in Jehoiachin? Did he grow up with him and know him during that time? Was he trying to ‘right a wrong’ done by his father? Did any of the other prisoners receive such a gracious gift? Apparently he didn’t free Zedekiah. Even free, Zedekiah would have still worn the punishment inflicted on him by Nebuchadnezzar; blindness. Did Jehoiachin ask after Zedekiah? Was Zedekiah already dead by this time? Is it possible that the death of Zedekiah prompted Evil-merodach’s mercy?
Jehoiachin was not only released from prison but cared for and given great respect. Evil-merodach “spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon” (verse 28). Jehoiachin never went hungry or without again. ALL his needs were supplied by Evil-merodach. Everything except release to his home country.
I wonder if Jehoiachin even wanted to go home. His people were in captivity, his city in ashes, and his kingdom disbanded. He had everything he needed there in Babylon. If he wanted to see other Israelites all he had to do was look around him. At least a few of them were even in places of power; Daniel being chief among them. He had all the foreign gods he could ever ask for. He didn’t have the restrictions imposed by God’s law on him. He probably saw no advantage to returning to the land God promised His people.
But God wasn’t through with His people yet. There would come a day when ALL His people would be released from prison. A day when they would put off their prison clothes as a nation instead of only a deposed king. A day when He would bring them back to the land He gave them.
There is still coming a day when we will all put off our prison clothes. A day when we will all put on ‘wedding garments’. A day when we will be invited to sit at the King’s table for eternity. When we will have no more needs. A day when we will live in the Land HE prepared for us. A place beyond imagination! And that’s pretty incredible because I have a VERY good imagination.
I was wondering where the Holy Spirit would take us today because this is such an unusual passage. But He NEVER fails to bring something out of God’s word. Today that something is GREAT HOPE. Evil-merodach had compassion on Jehoiachin. How much more compassion does God hold for His people than this earthly ruler? MORE than we can imagine!!!
Thank You Father for Your love. Thank You that You held that love out to me before I even knew You. Thank You that Your love knows no bounds and that it is a sustaining love. You care for me every day in SO MANY ways! The king’s table holds nothing in comparison! I’m looking forward to sitting at Your table one day. The day of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. And then I’m looking forward to spending eternity walking with Jesus and asking Him all the questions that have come into my heart during out time together. Until then, I will hold fast to Your promises and praise You for Your provisions along the way.