“And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem.”
-2 Kings 25:9–10
These two verses summarize the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians referred to here as the Chaldeans. As I read these verse, like the burning of the temple, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, every great house burned down, and the walls around Jerusalem broken down, just total destruction of the city and all that’s in it, I think back to not that many chapters before when the temple in Jerusalem was built by Solomon in the beginning of 1 Kings in all of its glory and its majesty. And yet here at the end of 2 Kings, it’s totally destroyed, burnt down, and all the people of God ravaged, taken many of them into exile, if they are still alive.
Obedient living for the worship of God alone leads to abundant life, glory, majesty, and beauty.
All of this is a picture of the effects of sin and idolatry and immorality and injustice among God’s people. He had warned them over and over and over again, and yet God’s people had hardened their hearts to his warnings. And that’s just it, and that’s how I want to lead us to pray, based on 2 Kings 25. When I think about 1 Corinthians 10, talking about how these things were written down for us, that we might be warned by their example, that we would hear 2 Kings 25 today and be reminded in a clear way in our lives that obedience leads to life, walking in obedience to God’s word and living for the worship of God alone leads to life, abundant life and glory and majesty and beauty.
Not saying that means everything will always go perfectly for us in this world, but this is life. Life is found in obedience to God and His word and living for His worship. And the converse is true, disobedience leads to death and destruction and loss of abundant life, that we would learn this as we read 2 Kings 25 and we would live accordingly. God, please may it be so today. I pray this over my life and over every single person listening right now, that we would trust you and your Word and obey you and your Word, that we might experience life to the full in it. And God that you would keep us from disobedience, keep us from trusting ourselves, trusting in the ways of this world more than we trust in you. God, that you would keep us from worshiping other gods and idols in this world. That you would help us to worship you alone, to love you with all our hearts, soul, and mind, and strength, and this to experience life to the full, God.
We pray this over each of our lives. We pray this over our families, over the churches we’re a part of. God, we pray that you would help us to keep our eyes fixed on you, to seek you with all of our heart. From the moment we rise in the morning and all throughout the day, to the moment we lay our head on a pillow at night, God help us to seek you, help us to trust you, help us to live for your glory, help us to proclaim your Word, help us to obey your Word, help us to experience in all these things the abundant life that you have designed for us.
And God, please keep our hearts from ever being hardened to your good and gracious warnings to us, including warnings like we see in your Word here to us in 2 Kings 25. In all of this we praise you afresh today, Jesus, for dying on the cross for our sins, for rising from the dead in victory over sin and death and the grave, for ascending into heaven and sending your spirit down into our hearts, enabling us to obey you today by the power of your Spirit in us, enabling us to experience the life you’ve designed for us. We say yes to that life today, and we pray that you’d help us to keep our eyes fixed on you, our hearts fixed on you, our lives centered around you. For we know, O God, that you are life to the full. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.