Till There Was No Remedy
Zedekiah, a young and arrogant king of Judah, chose to do evil. He would not humble himself to hear God’s direction as provided by the prophet Jeremiah. He further rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar under whom the nation was captive. The leaders of the people, including the priests followed Zedekiah headlong into depravity. “And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy” (2 Ch 36:15-16 NKJV). The Chaldeans rose against Judah. God’s people were killed indiscriminately. The few who remained were carried away to Babylon along with the treasures of the Lord and of the king (2Ch. 36).
Had Zedekiah heeded the counsel of Solomon he would have prospered. The young believe themselves to be invincible. They also believe themselves to be wise. Solomon’s own son, Rehoboam, rejected the sage advice of his father (1Kg 12). “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, And put away evil from your flesh, For childhood and youth are vanity” (Ec 11:9, 10 NKJV). David begged God to forgive him for the sins committed as a youth. “Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD” (Ps 25:7 NKJV). Solomon speaks of youth as the appropriate time to remember God. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1 NKJV). Youth is followed by the difficulties of life and the limitations of advancing age.
Life is indeed filled with difficulties. Some are by design, others occur by chance. Some are of our own making. Often the source is so benign that we never recognize the danger to the soul. “Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity (Lu 8:14 NKJV). Martha, sister of Lazarus, was distracted by her domestic responsibilities. She missed hearing Jesus’ message on that occasion (Lk 10:40). The rich fool in Luke chapter 12 was more concerned with his harvest than with his soul. He forfeited his life and his soul that very night. Indulging in the pleasures of the world eventually makes us enemies of God (Ja 4:1-4). An unnamed prophet approached Ahab with a message about fulfilling responsibility. In the story the prophet was tasked with guarding a prisoner. While he was “busy here and there” the prisoner escaped. Ahab rightly prescribes condemnation (1Kg 20). How many of us will be condemned because we are too busy to fill our responsibilities to God?
Beginning with Adam and Eve in the garden, the pattern of sin and suffering has perpetuated. This first family suffered the loss of innocence, of home and comfort. They suffered the tragic loss of children. The first by murder. The second banished by God. Adam and Eve were isolated from their son and his family. Mankind plunged into depravity prompting a purge by flood during the days of Noah. The pattern of sin resumed post flood. God began preparing mankind for eventual redemption. Promises were made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their descendants were delivered from Egypt and led to conquer the promised land. A period of judges followed with kings thereafter. All periods were filled with spiritual decline followed by deliverance and revival. The Messiah ultimately arrived to “seek and the save that which was lost”. (Lk 19:10). “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2Pe 3:9, 10 NKJV).
Knowing that this world will come to a certain end we must be prepared. Those who refuse to obey the gospel will be “punished with everlasting destruction” (2Th 1:9 NKJV). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2Co 5:10 NKVJ). “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later” (1Ti 5:24 NKJV). “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27 NKJV). Death seals our fate. After death there is no remedy for sin.
Ken Fleeman (2018-11-25)