In 597 BC the enemy was Babylon, and the gate opened to Jerusalem. King Jeconiah, who had only been on the throne a few months at age 18 knew the end was coming. The Babylonians had warned them, but Jeconiah’s defiance would now be the ruin of his kingdom. Even the prophet Jeremiah had given him a personal warning from the Almighty, “You will have no sons on this throne” (Jeremiah 52:31-34)
Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin) was a wicked king. Like many of the kings who preceded him he had no love for God. Yet his grandfather Josiah had been the spearhead of religious reforms that were short-lived. His example still resonated in the mind of his grandson. Though Jeconiah was not good, he was smart, which is almost as good. He realized that if he resisted Nebuchadnezzar’s will again, he would die. He chose life. He surrendered his household to Babylon. Years later in 2 Kings 25:27-30 we find that Jeconiah was released from prison with his family and treated like royalty at the King’s table.
Jeconiah’s story is significant because he stands on a hinge of history. Matthew 1:1 and 17 recall that Abraham, David, and the exiles to Babylon are the three important hinges of the history of the Messiah. Abraham was called to an unknown country. David was called to be King. Jeconiah was called into exile. While not glamorous, Jeconiah’s decision to surrender preserved the people of Judah, and the line of the Messiah to come. Even in his defeat, God still worked through him.
I want to remind you of this. Right now, you may feel defeated. You may even see your enemies gathered at your gates. But this may be exactly where God wants you to be. Because God wants you to surrender, not to the whims and desires of the enemy, but to himself. God wants you to surrender to His will, power, and His best for your life. The same prophet who pronounced doom on Jeconiah pronounces hope for you. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:11-13, ESV)