Choose to walk in repentance and faith consistently until the end
King Josiah was indeed a very good king! This was because he chose to humble himself on hearing the words of the scroll that God gave Moses, and so averted the wrath of God during his reign.
The Passover that he celebrated was unlike any other that was observed in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet, 2 Chronicles 35: 18.
Yet, towards the end of his life, he died prematurely, on account of allowing pride to enter into his life, which made him go outside his boundary and meddle with king Necho of Egypt, vs 20-24.
This unfortunate incident gave king Necho power over his son Jehoahaz, in a very negative way, *2 Chronicles 36:3,4!
King Necho dethroned his son, took him to Egypt and made his brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim, vs 5. Nevertheless when Jehoiakim also continued doing evil in God’s sight, king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked him, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away to Babylon, vs 6, and he made his relative Zedekiah to reign in his place, vs 10.
When God saw that Zedekiah and his people also refused to humble their pride and obey the prophetic voice of the day, as well as defiantly rebel against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made Zedekiah vow allegiance in the name of God, God permitted the Babylonians to slaughter their young men in their temple and handed everyone over to him, vs 11-18. The Babylonians burnt down the Lord’s temple and tore down the wall of Jerusalem! They burned all its fortified buildings and destroyed all its valuable items, and deported to Babylon all who escaped the sword, vs 19,20!
Thus the land experienced its sabbatical rest, and it remained desolate for seventy years, just as it was prophesied! This shows us that a lack of the fear of the Lord and consistent disobedience to His laws, with no repentance whatsoever, is bound to bring upon us the fierce judgment of God, just as His Word says! God is very slow to anger and waits patiently for us to repent, but a day surely comes when the time of grace ends and the time of judgment begins! Let us humble our pride and settle accounts with God and man, while we still have the time to do so!
Finally, in the fullness of time, when the 70-year period of judgment ended, *the Lord stirred the mind of King Cyrus of Persia and instructed him to build a temple for him in Jerusalem, *Ezra 1:1,2. He permitted any of God’s people to go and help out in the work, and told those that did not go to contribute silver, gold, equipment and animals, along with voluntary offerings for rebuilding the temple of God which is in Jerusalem, vs 3,4. And just as he commanded, the people with willing hearts obeyed, even as the Lord led them to!
Thus, the deportation from Jerusalem to Babylon, and from Babylon back to Jerusalem took seventy years to be fulfilled, just like the Lord said it would!
Whether we like it or not, God’s Word will surely be fulfilled, it is just a matter of time! If we choose to walk in repentance and faith consistently until the end, we will surely eat ‘the best of the land’, though now for a ‘little while’, if necessary, we may be distressed through varied trials, 1 Peter 1: 6,7. *During this time, let us be determined to love *Him, though we do not see Him and continue to believe in Him, so that we can rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, because we are attaining, the goal of our faith, even the salvation of our souls, vs 8,9. Amen!