The Righteous Judge

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem, and besieged it. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god: and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. The king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles; youths in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and endowed with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king’s palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the language of the Chaldeans. The king appointed for them a daily portion of the king’s dainties, and of the wine which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years; that at its end they should stand before the king. – Daniel 1:1-5 (WEB)

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. -2 Timothy 4:8 (ESV)

Jehoiachim was one of several kings of Judah whom the Bible says “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” As the Righteous Judge of his people, God eventually had enough of Jehoiachim and his reign of terror. In fulfillment of the prophecies of Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and Isaiah, God gave Jerusalem into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

Why did God do this? God had said they were to have no other gods before him. The people disobeyed. God had tolerated their disobedience for years while his prophets preached to the people. Finally, judgment day arrived. The Righteous Judge decreed the prophesied sentence would be carried out: 70 years of exile in Babylon.

Another Judgment Day is coming. This time, Jesus Christ will be the Righteous Judge. For those who follow him, there will be no sentence of exile. Rather, we will receive a crown of righteousness. Are you prepared for Jesus’ return?

Lord, please help us always to serve you, remembering that you will judge your people. Amen.

Copyright © 2007, Star Ferdinand. All Rights Reserved.

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