Royalty and Ruin


Zedekiah, Judah’s Last King

At the beginning of his reign Zedekiah had the full trust of the king of Babylon. He also had Jeremiah the prophet as his counselor. He could have kept the respect of many in high authority and communicated a knowledge of the true God to them. If he had done so, the captive exiles already in Babylon would have been granted many liberties, God’s name would have been honored, and those who remained in Judah would have been spared the terrible disasters that finally came. RR 156.1

Through Jeremiah, God counseled Zedekiah and all Judah to submit quietly to the temporary rule of their conquerors. Those in captivity should seek the peace of the land where they had been carried. However, Satan took advantage of the circumstances and caused false prophets to arise in Jerusalem and in Babylon. They declared that the yoke of bondage would soon be broken and the nation restored to its former prestige. RR 156.2

Heeding such flattering prophecies would have led the king and exiles to make fatal mistakes. To prevent an uprising, the Lord commanded Jeremiah to meet the crisis without delay by warning the king of Judah about the sure consequences of rebellion. He also admonished the captives not to be deluded into believing that their deliverance was near. “Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you,” he urged. Jeremiah 29:8. He mentioned the Lord’s plan to restore Israel at the close of seventy years’ captivity. RR 156.3

God knew that if false prophets persuaded His captive people to look for a speedy deliverance, their position in Babylon would become very difficult. Any revolt on their part would lead to further restriction of their liberties. Suffering and disaster would result. RR 156.4