Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Grace from a Guy Named ‘Evil’”
And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, until the day of his death, as long as he lived.
I love movies from the 90’s. Not necessarily because they are higher quality films (although many are), but mostly because after you watch a 90’s movie, you feel a fantastic sense of closure. But these days, nearly every major film that comes out ends with a cliffhanger. I concede that some of them are fairly well done, and they leave the viewers with a sense excitement and anticipation. Unfortunately, many others are poorly executed, leaving the viewers angry at the fact that they have to shell out another $15 to find out what happens next.
Journeying through the book of Jeremiah, the primary theme has been about exile, judgment, and God’s impending wrath upon the nations. But this final chapter in the book is a cliffhanger of the best kind. Amidst all the language of destruction and hopelessness, the final paragraph tells us a story of grace and hope. After 37 years of imprisonment, Jehoiachin (the king of Judah) is shown incredible grace and favor, and that from a guy whose name happens to be “Evil-merodach” (his name doesn’t actually mean “evil” it just sounds like that in English). I love how the last words of this book hint at the coming redemption of God by telling us about a man who is freed from prison, and then given a seat at the king’s table, for no apparent reason at all. If that’s not a foreshadow of God’s redemptive plan, I don’t know what is! This morning, let us remember God’s final plan is always to redeem us.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for the book of Jeremiah, which reminds us of the seriousness of sin, but also the hope of a redeeming God. We worship You today for who You are.
Bible Reading for Today: John 11