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2015.Jul.
31 Fri
 
Dealing with the Enemy
[ 2 Kings 25:18 - 25:30 ]
 
18. The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers.
19. Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of his men who were found in the city.
20. Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah.
21. There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land.
22. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah.
23. When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah--Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, and their men.
24. Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. "Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials," he said. "Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you."
25. In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah.
26. At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt for fear of the Babylonians.
27. In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin from prison on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month.
28. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon.
29. So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king's table.
30. Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived.
 

Reflection
When to Fight (25:18–25)
As the enemy settles into power over Gods people in this passage, we learn how to respond to the enemys attempts to rule over our lives. The spiritual advocates, the priests and temple guards, are executed, leaving the people vulnerable. Seemingly peace-seeking, the new governor tells Gods people they have nothing to fear as long as they honor the counterfeit authority. There are times when the evil one clearly attacks and the threat is unmistakable. At other times, his voice may be little more than a whisper in our hearts. Like the governor, he offers temporary relief if we stop fighting and yield to his power. If we are aware of his deception, we can choose, like Ishmael son of Nethaniah, to resist the temptation to give up. We can fight back and insist on following the one true God.

When to Wait (25:26–30)
The narrative takes us to the enemy kingdom, where Jehoiachin is held captive for thirty-seven years. There are times when we too find ourselves bound in a prison that seems inescapable. When we cannot fight, we can hold on to hope in the One who fights for us. There is no explanation for the change of heart that leads the enemy king to release Jehoiachin. Romans 9:18 tells us that God will have mercy on some and harden the hearts of others. As demonstrated in the hardening and softening of Pharaohs heart in Exodus, Gods plans for His people depend on Him alone. There are times when all we can do is rest and wait for the Rescuer to move the immovable.

Application
- Where do you see the enemy working in your life? Are you facing an aggressive attack or a subtle deception? Call on Jesus and commit your life to the one true God.

- Are you facing hopeless circumstances? Do you feel helpless to free yourself or the one you love from the enemys bondage? Declare to God that you hope and trust in Him as you wait for Him to move.

A Letter to
God
One true God, in You alone I place my trust. Jesus, You are my power to fight and my peace to wait. May Your Spirit give me the discernment to know the difference. In Your name I pray. Amen.
 
 
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