The very last king of Judah (other than the Eternal King, that is) didn’t learn any lessons from the failures of those who had gone before him. In fact the Scripture says of him, “He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord, the God of Israel” (36:13).
But the Scripture also reminds us shortly after this that God was very patient with his people, “The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place” (36:15). How did they respond? “But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy” (36:16).
This is cause for humility for me today. Why? Because I know how patient God is with me. I know my heart and how like the old hymn says I am: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.” But God is patient and loves me with an everlasting love. Oh, Lord, I need your soul-keeping grace and your sin-forgiving mercy every moment of every day.
Prayer: Father, you alone can keep me through faith for the salvation that will be revealed to me in the last time. As you are keeping me for then, Lord, I pray that you would keep me now…close to you…seeking your heart…constantly surrendering my will and my way to your will and your way. Help me, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.