‘’Let it be our care that we die in Christ, and then it will be well with us, whenever we die, though it should be in a far country.’’ Matthew Henry.
I note three things in this final section:
The seriousness of sin: God knew about this man’s sin and he was going to do something about it. Matthew Henry says that the king was going to exchange a crown for chains. In a way, we all do this when we choose the pathway of wrongdoing. We were created in God’s image to rule the earth under Him. But we have sold out to the devil and swapped the diadem for fetters. This king is actually ‘’Jehoiachin’’. He was also known as ‘’Jeconiah’’. Again, Henry suggests that his name may be shortened to ‘’Coniah’’ in this passage (as you find in some translations) to indicate that his reign would be. He was on the throne for just three months (2 Kings 24:8-17). The prophecy given to him was fulfilled only a few years later (2 Kings 24:15). This king the people may well have idolized as their leader quickly came to disappoint, and even to be despised. All our ‘idols’ will let us down. Jehoiachin would be found to be ‘’a leaky bucket, a rusted-out pail good for nothing…a man who will never amount to anything…’’ The Message.
The fact that sin separates: There is a picture of Hell here, and we have seen this point previously in the chapter. The language used is very strong; words like ‘’tear’’ (24, ESV), ‘’hurl’ and ‘’hurled’’ (26, 28). It’s the terminology of ferocity. Jeconiah was made to be near and dear to God, symbolised by the signet ring’’ on His ‘’right hand’’ (24, see Haggai 2:23). He was created to be close to God and to rule the nation out of that relationship with Him. But sin brings a massive rupture. There is something terribly final about the words in (27): ‘’You’ll be homesick, desperately homesick, but you’ll never get home again.’’ The Message (see Luke 16:19-31, and especially 26). Hell is like this, as we have noted before. It is to be exiled from our true ‘Home’ with no hope of return. It is eternal separation from the God we were created to know and love and serve. It is the ultimate in ‘homesickness.’
The surety of God’s purposes: ‘’Jehoiachin lived for many years in exile in Babylon (see 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34). Though he had children, none of them became king of Judah (verse 30). Jehoiachin was a direct ancestor of Jesus (1 Chronicles 3:17; Matthew 1:12); in Matthew he is called Jeconiah. In Hebrew, both names mean, ‘’The Lord establishes.’’ Jehoiachin was the last of Judah’s kings to die; with his death the throne of David became extinct – ‘’dis-established’’! Yet that is not the last word. The Lord was going to establish a new King on David’s throne, the Messiah Jesus Christ. And it is to this Messiah that Jeremiah turns as he begins the next chapter.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.1107.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for Jesus – and He is not a disappointment.