2 Kings (Chapter 25)
Before we move into the book of Isaiah with our blogs, it would be helpful to first bring some closure to the book of 2 Kings.
OBSERVE: Jerusalem had become the capital of the southern kingdom and the location of the temple that Solomon built for God. It had been a place that had been conquered over the centuries by the Egyptians and the Assyrians, retaken by the kings of Israel, and then eventually taken by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon in the last chapter of 2 Kings.
The entire Babylonian army……….tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, then took as exiles the rest of the people who remained in the city. (2 Kings 25: 10-11)
INTERPRET: Ancient cities were surrounded by think, strong stone walls. The walls provided protection from enemies, and security and safety to all who lived within the walls. So when the Babylonian army broke down the walls of Jerusalem, it put an end to safety and security for Jerusalem’s inhabitants. They were carried off to exile in Babylon.
God’s people had always needed a city to live in with walls that were impenetrable by their enemies, where they can live in peace and safety and without fear. But no human king could ever construct such a city. No wall built by human hands could ever provide security that would last forever.
APPLICATION: The writer of the book of Hebrews says that the country God’s people have longed for is “a heavenly homeland” and that God “has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11: 16). The apostle John was given a vision of this city, and he saw that it is a city with walls – magnificent, beautiful, impenetrable walls “made of jasper,” built on foundation stones “inlaid with twelve precious stones,” nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty – but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21: 18-19, 27).
It is the saving work of Jesus, the slain Lamb of God that provides the foundation for an eternity of peace and safety from the enemies of sin and Satan. All those whose names are written in his book – all those who have come alive to Christ Jesus – will live with him forever in his city, surrounded by beautiful, impenetrable walls. It is this city that we are to long for and desire to become residents of.
REFLECTION: Are you preparing for the heavenly homeland that is being prepared for you?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus; how I long to live in the place that you have gone to prepare for me. To live free from attack of the enemy and of my own sin. It is here in the New Jerusalem, that I will no longer be carried off into captivity by my selfishness and fear. With you, I will dwell in perfect safety.
SONG: New Jerusalem (Vertical Worship)
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.