It’s not a good situation. It’s bad. Actually, it’s gotten worse than bad. As I read chapter 17 of The Story, it’s not just bad, but it’s sad. It’s sad to watch the final collapse of Israel. Jerusalem falls. The temple is destroyed. People die. Families are separated. The able-bodied men are taken away as slaves to work in building up the Babylonian cities. The poor are left behind to work in the fields and farms. Ouch.

It’s sad. It’s hard to watch. You’ve all seen families that have separated. Many of you have experienced it. No matter how it comes about, it’s hard. Separation is hard. It hurts. It’s messy. That’s what happening here, but it’s separation in the relationship between God and his people. People simply, and continuously, pursue relationships with other gods. The Scriptures don’t mince words when it says that God’s people “prostitute” and “whore” themselves to other gods. Yikes.

This destruction of Israel, and now Judah and Jerusalem, on the surface, looks like it’s just a result of bad political decisions by kings. I’m sure that’s how many at the time even thought about it. The citizens probably had debates on their social stone tablets about whether Jehoiachin was a better/worse king than Jehoiakim. I’m sure some said it was all Jehoiachin’s fault that Jerusalem was falling. However, his supporters would point fingers at Jehoiakim for getting them into this mess in the first place.

All the while, God is ruling and reigning, filled with truth and grace, judgment and mercy for these – THESE PEOPLE – who could care less about Him.

This whole thing is not good. It’s hard to watch. It’s sad. And yet, there’s still hope. Absolutely everything earthly is stripped away, and it is clear that hope exists only in God. When everything falls apart…when all your earthly powers, and principalities, and everything you put hope in is gone – what would you have? Where would you find hope?

I know it seems bad out there today. There are a lot of hurting people. There’s a lot of finger pointing and stone throwing. This world is in rough shape. I hate to say it…but it’s never been in great shape since Genesis 2.

So what can you do? Put your hope in your king. Your real king. Jesus is king. He’s ruling and reigning way far above and beyond any earthly ruler. Put your hope in King Jesus. He’s got it. While you wait for him to return…
Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

And my reminder to you is this: It’s not up to you to save the world. Jesus already accomplished that. But you can impose change in this world. It starts first by loving God, then your spouse (if you have one), then your children, then your neighbors and friends – in THAT order. You’re not being selfish if you do those things. You’re actually living faithfully to the ordinary call that God has given to you.

Have a blessed day. It’s all going to be okay. Jesus lives. He is king. And he’s coming back.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Alive in Christ!

Pastor Aaron

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