Jeremiah 52: King Zedekiah (of Israel) rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and they laid siege to it…9 Then they captured Zedekiah, and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah …10 The king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes…11 He put out the eyes of Zedekiah…and put him in prison until the day of his death…13 He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 14 All the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem.
Dear sisters and brothers, this is a description of complete defeat. Jerusalem is laid siege, many of God’s people starve before the city falls. King Zedekiah has to watch as his family is put to death before his very eyes – which are then put out of his head making him blind. The city of Jerusalem is then destroyed, including the very temple of God.
Yet what draws me in this morning is the knowledge that, as bad as these events were to God’s people (and let’s face it, this is about as bad as it gets), it was not the end of the story. There were better days ahead. Yes, the people of God suffered for their unfaithfulness, but God never gave up on them.
Because our God is a God of second chances.
Some of you reading this blog post are in need of a second chance. If you’re honest, things aren’t going very well and you bear at least partial responsibility. It’s natural to think, “Will I ever live this down? Will there be better days ahead? Can I survive this epic fail?”
If this is you, have hope. Yes, mistakes are painful and can have lasting consequences, but with God there is always hope of a better future. Whatever has been torn down, the Lord can rebuild. Humble yourself before him today, right now. Confess your sins to God and he will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. And you will be made new, beginning on the inside and eventually on the outside.
Heavenly Father, many of us struggle this morning with our personal failings and mistakes. We’ve fallen down and are finding it hard to get back up. Give us grace to humble ourselves before you, take responsibility for our sins, and yet have hope we can be restored to you and to other people. We thank you in advance for your undying faithfulness in this and all things, as we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.