Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. -2 Timothy 4:8 (ESV)
Jehoiachim was one of several kings of Judah whom the Bible says “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” As the Righteous Judge of his people, God eventually had enough of Jehoiachim and his reign of terror. In fulfillment of the prophecies of Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and Isaiah, God gave Jerusalem into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
Why did God do this? God had said they were to have no other gods before him. The people disobeyed. God had tolerated their disobedience for years while his prophets preached to the people. Finally, judgment day arrived. The Righteous Judge decreed the prophesied sentence would be carried out: 70 years of exile in Babylon.
Another Judgment Day is coming. This time, Jesus Christ will be the Righteous Judge. For those who follow him, there will be no sentence of exile. Rather, we will receive a crown of righteousness. Are you prepared for Jesus’ return?
Lord, please help us always to serve you, remembering that you will judge your people. Amen.