April 2022 Featured Article
What’s the deal with Nebuchadnezzar and the exile from Jerusalem?
Did Daniel and the others go to Babylon at the same time as Ezekiel?
Why did God allow the Babylonians to conquer Jerusalem and His chosen people anyway?
For many years, Judah and its kings ignored the warning of the prophets. Time and again they were sent to the nation with the same message: Repent. Turn back to God and worship Him only.
Time and again the people refused to honor the Lord’s request.
Or if kings like Hezekiah, or Josiah led reforms, it was short lived. As soon as the honorable king died, the nation would once again turn to their wicked ways.
One of the things that draws me the most to the Lord is His mercy and longsuffering. But I think I—like the nation of Judah—have grown too accustomed to His mercies being new every morning. I don’t expect my sins to have immediate consequences, because of that amazing grace.
But you see, God is not only a God of Mercy. He is also a Just Judge. He could not continue to allow His perfect law to be broken without consequence.
The Bible says Nebuchadnezzar was God’s servant.
God appointed Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians to overthrow Judah and the city of Jerusalem.
Shocking news for those who thought Jerusalem was off limits because it was God’s holy city with God’s chosen people.
In 607 BCE Nebuchadnezzar delegated Jehoiakim as vassal kink of Judah, and brought the brightest young men, including some of the king’s descendants, back to Babylon. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were in this round.
In 597 BCE, another exile takes place, this time the artisans and valiant warriors. 10,000 people including the then king, JehoiakiN, not to be confused with his dad, the former king JehoiakiM. Ezekiel was a part of this round.
The final raid of Judah’s residents took place after a two-year siege ending 586 BCE. This time the city was razed and everyone that was alive was taken.
Ezekiel and Daniel would have been in Babylonia (the nation, not specifically the city Babylon) at the same time, but there is no indication they crossed paths. However, in the Jewish Midrash, there is reference that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (bonus points if you know their Hebrew names😉) approached Ezekiel about the bowing before the idol thing.
It was a large province and all the Hebrews were not kept in the same location. But there were Jewish communities that thrived in Babylonia. We all know of how some of the elites actually were able to influence the kings and the nation.
You might not know why God has uprooted you from your home, your livelihood or your family, but I bet there is someone in your current situation that the Lord would want you to influence for His kingdom!