Nov 1: Judah was taken into Captivity
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Last week the kids learned that even though Jehoiakim burned Jeremiah’s warnings from God, the people of Judah would be punished and exiled because of their sins. Warnings had come from the prophets for decades. God patiently waited for His people to turn from their sin. The prophet Jeremiah spared few details when he warned Judah what would happen if they did not turn from their evil ways. (See Jeremiah 25:1-14.)
The people of Judah did not change their ways. The time of judgment had come. Like God had warned through Jeremiah, He used the king of Babylon—King Nebuchadnezzar—to deport the people from Judah to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar went to Judah when Jehoiakim was king. He put Jehoiakim in chains and took him to Babylon. His son Jehoiachin became king, and Nebuchadnezzar came back for him too. Many of the people in Judah were taken, along with treasures from the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar put Jehoiakim’s brother Zedekiah on the throne in Jerusalem.
The people of Judah were unfaithful to God. Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, and God poured out His wrath on Judah. Nebuchadnezzar showed no mercy to the people of Jerusalem. The Babylonians set fire to the Lord’s temple and the king’s palace. They destroyed the wall around Jerusalem. King Nebuchadnezzar’s armies carried most of the people away to Babylon as prisoners; only poor farmers were allowed to stay and work the land. The people were held captive in Babylon, serving the king for the next 70 years.
God did not abandon His people, though. The prophet Jeremiah told what would happen next: “The days are certainly coming … when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah” (Jeremiah 30:3). God righteously punished His people for their sin but remained faithful to them, keeping the promise He made to David to provide a king. Ultimately, God punished our sin through His Son, Jesus, and made Him our King forever.
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