2 Kings 25:19-21—And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king’s presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city: And Nebuzaradan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah: And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.
After Josiah, there was never again a godly king. The Pharaoh of Egypt put Josiah’s son in chains after his three-month reign. Each successive king paid tribute to Egypt, and the last king paid tribute to Babylon. The final king was Zedekiah. He rebelled against Babylon but was captured. His sons were murdered before his eyes. Then his eyes were put out. The buildings of Jerusalem were burned and pulled down. The temple was completely looted before it, too, was torn down. That was the sad end of Israel. 2 Kings 24:3,4 tells us that God was unwilling to forgive the land because of the idolatry and murders committed by King Manasseh. His legacy had so infected the nation that even the reforms of Josiah could not purge it. Our passage today tells of the final destruction of what was left in Jerusalem. We are all like the nation of Israel. There is a call on our lives to live as an example of our God. Our life is to be a witness to the world. We are enticed along the way to do evil, to turn to other things besides the LORD for our pleasure. At times, we are like David, Hezekiah, and Josiah, the good kings. At other times we are enticed to go the way of Manasseh. Like Israel, we have choices that affect our destiny. Will we be as stubborn as they were and go our own way, so that, in the end, the justice of God must remove us? Or will we be what God has called us to be, examples of His truth so that His blessings can overflow from our lives to the world? We are each a little king. Many lives are affected by our commitment or lack thereof. Serve the LORD with your whole heart!