The Fall of Jerusalem – 2 Kings 25:1-30
If you’re anything like me, then sometimes we get the various exiles and captivities a little confused. We remember that the Kingdom divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah), and we know that there were other empires that God used to deliver judgment upon His people. But unless you spend a lot of time reading the Old Testament, it’s easy to get it all mixed up.
I once heard a preacher offer a helpful mnemonic device which has helped me remember and keep it straight… it’s called the ABCs of the exiles.
First, Assyria captured the northern kingdom of Israel. As a nation, Israel was never to return, but was forced to intermarry with the Assyrians and other captured nations. While the northern 10 tribes were never heard from again, some of their descendents would resettle the land, which would be known as Samaria.
Second, Babylon captured the southern kingdom of Judah. That’s the captivity that you’re reading about today. The temple and important buildings were destroyed, and the Judeans were carried off. However, these tribes would ultimately return and resettle the land, rebuilding the temple and the city wall. The Persians conquered Babylon, and Cyrus the Persian began to allow the Jews to return to their homeland.
Ultimately, we are able to get to the C-phase because there was a remnant who remained faithful to God during the B-phase. Even as we read of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, we are reminded that people like Daniel and his friends remained faithful to God, and that a remnant was ultimately able to return and worship again on Mount Zion.
Could you be part of a faithful remnant, despite trials and persecutions?
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.
– Psalm 137:1-6