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Keep Hope Alive     2 Kings 24:12-13, 19-20; 25:8-11, 27-30      Feb. 27, 2011


Introduction

       If you were taken captive and kept in prison for 37 years would your hope in God increase or diminish?

We can ask more questions about these facts than we can find answers. But in this case Jehoiachin serves as an example of one who after a long time of confinement enjoyed release. We do need to Keep Hope Alive.

 

1.   In Times of . . Captivity Keep Hope Alive. 2 Kings 24:12-13

       A.   Captivity Does Not Mean God Is . . Captive. 24: 12 

       12 Jehoiachin king of Judah, along with his mother, his servants, his commanders, and his officials, 

       surrendered to the king of Babylon. So the king of Babylon took him captive in the eighth year of his reign.

 

       B.   Captivity Of Treasures Does Not Mean God Is . . Controlled. 24: 13

13 He also carried off from there all the treasures of the LORD’s temple and the treasures of the king’s

       palace, and he cut into pieces all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the LORD’s

       sanctuary, just as God had predicted.


       If America ever becomes a captive nation all who live at that time need to keep their hope in the Lord alive and well. If we are captive it does not mean God is captive. If every thing we consider treasures of the Lord are taken by godless captors God is still in control. These events do not happen unless God works His plan for His people. A lady who lost her son understandable ask “Where was God.” The minister kindly said, “He was in the same place He occupied when His Son was crucified. Captivity does not mean God has lost control. Some times we must work to Keep Hope Alive.


 

2.   In Times of . . Contemptible Leadership Keep Hope Alive. 2 Kings 24:19-20

       A.   Keep Hope Alive When Contemptible Leadership . . Chooses Evil. 24:19

       19 Zedekiah did what was evil in the LORD’s sight just as Jehoiakim had done.

 

       B.   Keep Hope Alive When Contemptible Leadership . . Compounds the Anger of the Lord. 24:20

       20 Because of the LORD’s anger, it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that He finally banished them

       from His presence. Then, Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.


       If everyone who complains about circumstances and leaders would pray and witness more we, might be used to turn our country around. The text speaks of a time when the nation of Israel included many disobedient people. The king chose evil but so did many people. Note how the text tells us God was angry. In fact the disobedience of the people caused God to turn His back on them. Their actions simply compounded the problem.

 

3.   In Times of . . Contrary Leadership Keep Hope Alive. 2 Kings 25:8-11

       A.   Keep Hope Alive When Contrary Leadership Tears Down The . . Temple. 24:8-9

       8 On the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of

       Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, a servant of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem.

       9 He burned the LORD’s temple, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the

       great houses.

 

       B.   Keep Hope Alive When Contrary Leadership Tears Down The . . Town. 24:10-11

       10 The whole Chaldean army with the commander of the guards tore down the walls surrounding

        Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported the rest of the people who were left in

       the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population.


      I have heard of people crying as they watched their church burning to the ground. In the text many of these people knew the pagan kings men were going to tear down the Temple. Can you imaging the sadness a dedicated Jew felt as he either heard or watched this event. Many churches have birthed a new faith and let it blossom until a new church occupied the space the old church occupied. They did it as they kept hope alive. Suppose your entire town was torn down. Would your hope blossom. It is the challenge of our text.



 

4.   In Times of . . Considerate Leadership Keep Hope Alive. 2 Kings 25:27-30

       A.   Keep Hope Alive When Considerate Leadership . . Grants You Kindness. 25:27-28

       27 On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Judah’s King

       Jehoiachin, in the year Evil-merodach became king of Babylon, he pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and

       released him from prison. 28 He spoke kindly to him and set his throne over the thrones of the kings who

       were with him in Babylon.

 

       B.   Keep Hope Alive When Considerate Leadership . . Gives You An Allowance. 25:29-30

       29 So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon

       for the rest of his life. 30 As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king, a portion

       for each day, for the rest of his life.


       I have not found where Jehoiachin during his confinement drew close to the Lord and God got him released because of that. Hopefully that is true. I do not question that God got him released and used a man named

Evil-merodach to grant this release. In addition this king gave Jehoiachin a daily allowance and the privilege of eating at the king’s table. Why did this happen? We don’t know but it could give the people hope that things were going to get better and God would restore Israel as a nation and to Keep Hope Alive. Amen? Amen!