Suddenly in charge, Judah’s final king, Zedekiah (formerly known as Mattaniah) finds himself trying to fit into his nephew’s shoes. This same nephew, King Jehoiachin, had been taken away by the Babylonians. Note that it was after Jehoiachin had surrendered. The departure of Judah into exile had begun.
We see Zedekiah as a bit of a rebel. The Babylonian king had been the one to appoint the “uncle.” Did you notice how close in age the two were. They were likely more like friends, acting like cousins would act. Why did Zedekiah choose the “rebellious” route? Was he not afraid of the Babylonian presence who had put him into office?
Zedekiah let the Babylonians pound on him and the people of Judah for two years! What sense does that make? What were his motivations, do you think?
Are you rebellious at times? Maybe the riskiest thing you’ve ever done is go a little over the speed limit. Maybe you’ve missed a Sunday worship or two or three. What is your definition of rebellious? Is it when we step real close to that line of intentional sinfulness with a little too much boldness? Stepping on the line is not ever the intention.
I was a rebellious teen. There are handfuls of things that I can look back on…MANY years later and realize I’m lucky to be as alive as I am today thanks to choices and corrections I made along the way. I’m sure we all have stories that we think are a big deal, but are probably more common among our friends than we realize.
One thing I’ve learned in retirement is self-control. When you don’t have to show up for a job (controlling) or a volunteer gig (controlling), and you have to plan your day from scratch each day, there’s an adjustment period. One constant, through my process, is God. I have made it a gigantic focus in my life to be intentional about my time with God each day. Because it’s the focus, it has now become a burning passion. It’s what I hope you feel like, too.
What does it mean to you to spend time in God’s word? Is it a priority for you? Or are you sometimes rebellious and say, “Hey, God! You know what I’m thinking, so I don’t need to pray.” When we miss our opportunities to talk with God, we’re missing our best times of the day!
How do I know? Because I did miss out. For years. Life was busy. Sometimes my quiet time is what took the hit. You’ve probably heard me share that over and over. I thought I was happy. I was happy. But now, spending more time with God, is like “happy-happy,” a double dose. That feels a lot like, “joy,” which is another great perk.
I want to be a rebel for Jesus. By that I mean that I want to fight evil so that other Christ-followers can be reconnected with God’s Word (Jesus). That’s where the truth lies in these crazy times. We can see patterns repeating themselves before our eyes. It’s addicting to feel the revelation of the Spirit each day to help me understand what I’m reading.
Take some time today to ponder what it is that YOU want.
Let’s pray …
Father God, thank you for keeping me on the right path and rescuing me when I step away. Forgive my restless heart. I am your servant, and I am listening for your voice. Show me how to live my life in a way that honors you and fulfills my life’s dreams. In Jesus’ name. Amen.