Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign. He reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through Yahweh’s anger this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence.
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about. So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
In the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was severe in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled, and went out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden. Now the Chaldeans were against the city all around. The men of war went toward the Arabah, but the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. Then they took the king, and carried him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he pronounced judgment on him. The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. He also killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison until the day of his death.
Zedekiah’s story is a sharp rebuke to all of us. He was the one who allowed Jeremiah to be thrown in jail, only to secretly let him out when no one was looking. He was more afraid of men than of God. Here we see where that kind of behavior took him in his life. He ended up being the king who went down in history as the one that lost Jerusalem. He is the one that God brought down His final judgment upon.
While Zedekiah was in Jerusalem, Jeremiah was afflicted. Remember that he was thrown into a muddy well and then confined in jail. When we read those things it seemed so unfair and it was, but in the end, Jeremiah won. Zedekiah was taken captive into Babylon and Jeremiah was allowed to go wherever he wanted and He chose to stay there in Judah. Zedekiah’s punishment was severe. His eyes were put out after watching his children be put to death. This shows us what God thinks of it when His prophets are mistreated. Zedekiah was always expecting God to save Him, but refused to listen to or believe in God’s words.
Even if you are sometimes nice to Christians and pray, it doesn’t mean that you will be saved from Hell. The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Zedekiah did some good things but the most important thing was missing and that was faith in God’s word. God warned him over and over that Babylon was coming. He even told him that it was possible to surrender and avoid destruction, but Zedekiah would not believe God. He chose to do things his own way. May unbelievers be given eyes to see and turn to the truth and be saved, and may we as Christians continue in faith every day and avoid being foolish like Zedekiah was.