Advent 2023 - Title

…and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.” Matthew 1:11

Jechoniah was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. He, just as his father before him (and his fathers before him), did evil in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 24:8-9), so much so that God declared that he would give Jechoniah into the hands of those who wanted to take his life. God went on to say this about him: write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days, for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah (Jeremiah 22:30)

This played out when God gave over Jechoniah and his brothers into the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel 1:2). King Nebuchadnezzar came to the city of Jerusalem and besieged it. He took Jechoniah captive to Babylon. Then Jechoniah spent the next twenty-nine years in prison there. Eventually, King Nebuchadnezzar spoke kindly to Jechoniah and gave him a seat of honor. Jechoniah would go on to put aside his prison clothes and eat regularly at the king’s table, as long as he lived (2 Kings 24:8-17, 25:27-30). 

God kept his promise, and Jechoniah was indeed the last of his line to sit on the throne of David and rule in Judah. The book of 2 Kings ends with Judah being taken captive to the pagan land of Babylon, as a result of persistent unfaithfulness to God. But God, who is faithful, made this promise in Jeremiah 23: You have scattered my flock and have driven them away…Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, THEN I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord. I will raise up for David a righteous Branch and he shall reign as king and deal wisely and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Consider a couple of things at the mention of Jechoniah, in the lineage from the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) to King Jesus. First, it is again another reminder that God is just – there is always a consequence for sin. Second, Jechoniah, who did evil in the eyes of the Lord, was later restored, by God’s mercy and grace, with a seat at the king’s table. God, by His own words in Jeremiah 23, and evidenced by Jechoniah’s restoration, was not done with his chosen people.  He would go on to gather them, and as promised, bring them back to be ‘fruitful and multiply,’ echoing and recalling the first command ever given to God’s people back in Genesis 1:28 (and repeated throughout the Scriptures ever since). He would go on to raise up that Righteous Branch for David, in the person of King Jesus. Praise God for his mercy and grace that one day, those throughout history, who also have done evil in the eyes of the Lord, will be restored and find a seat at The King’s table, through the forgiveness of their sins received through repentance and the sacrificial blood of the Lamb of God, the Branch, King Jesus himself (Revelation 19:9).

Write a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.