He burned the house of the Lord, the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. All the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon - all the rest of the population. But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest people of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil. II Kings 25:9-12 NRSV
Jerusalem is not just besieged, it is totally destroyed. The Lord's house, the king's house, all the houses of the rich, the important, the talented and the intellectual are torn down. The last of the city's protection is broken: the walls around Jerusalem. The king, the royal family, the priests and their families, all the ruling upper classes and creative middle classes have already been taken into exile. All the rest, except for the poorest laborers, are now carried away. This is total defeat of God's city.
Was this defeat carried out on the orders of the King of Babylon? Yes. But it was by God's will, God who was so angered by the people's unfaithfulness that he "expelled them from his presence" (II Kings 24:20).
Have you ever felt expelled from God's presence? What did you do about it? What would it look like if you were to be expelled today?
God, we pray that we may never anger you so much that you expel us from your presence. Have mercy on us, dear Lord! In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims