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May 1 Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 25-1 Chronicles 2
“He spake kindly to him.”
2 Kings 25:28
God’s quarrel with his people because of their determined perseverance in rebellion brought Jerusalem to utter ruin. Israel and Judah were made desolate and carried away into captivity by the judgment of God and brought into total ruin. How sin reduces men to vanity! How sin reduces nations to vanity! Zedekiah rejected the counsel of God by his prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37-39) to his and the nation’s destruction. Be warned. — All who reject the counsel of God reject it to the everlasting destruction of their souls!
In wrath God remembers mercy; and even in this picture of divine judgment and ruin, we have in Jehoiachin a picture of God’s great mercy in Christ. After thirty-seven years of imprisonment, the king of Babylon brought him into liberty and “he spake kindly to him,” changed his prison garments, gave him bread, and supplied all his life’s needs to the end of his days.
Here is a picture of the wonderful changes the grace of God makes, when from the prison of death and sin, the soul is brought forth to the light and liberty of the gospel. The Lord Jesus, by the omnipotent power of his Holy Spirit, opens the prison door in conversion and calls forth his captives from the pit of condemnation, corruption, and death. By the blood of his covenant, our great Savior sends forth his prisoners of hope from the pit in which is no water (Zechariah 9:11).
What everlasting freedom that will be when death itself shall, at the trump of God, give up its dead and all the children of God shall sit down at his banqueting table to go out no more! Precious thought! Let it cheer our hearts amid all the changeable events in the providence of our God and Savior throughout the remaining days appointed for us on this earth. In this world everything is changing; but we live upon the unchangeable God in Christ Jesus. He is our life and peace here and will be our life and peace forever.
The genealogies of Chronicles and elsewhere in the book of God are read with boredom, if they read at all, until we are made to see the purpose for which they are given. In these genealogies we are given the earthly line of our Savior’s family, the line of the human race in which God preserved a people through whom the Seed of woman must come into the world at his appointed time. The Lord God said concerning the fallen race, “Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it. There is life in the root. There is salvation in the stock. The woman’s Seed, the Lord Jesus, is in these people. In this seed is he in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”
The very first line of 1st Chronicles reads, “Adam, Seth, Enosh.” No mention is made of Cain or Abel, the first two sons of Adam, because neither of them is in the genealogy of Christ. Abel was one of Christ’s seed, one of his elect; but he died childless. So Christ was not of Abel’s seed. Cain, the reprobate son of Adam, was not in the Savior’s family tree. The woman’s Seed promised in the very first gospel message (Genesis 3:15) is traced back to Adam and Eve through Seth. Of all the objections raised by the Jews against our Savior’s claims as the Messiah, they never once raised a question about his genealogy, because they knew his genealogical records were meticulously preserved and precisely accurate. What mercy, wisdom, and goodness! We have before us in these genealogical records a marvelous display of God’s great wisdom and his minute providence, using ancient Jewish family records to point to Jesus of Nazareth, his darling Son, the incarnate God, and declare with irrefutable authority, — “Jesus is the Christ!”