2 Kings 24:8-17
Speaker 2: Yeah. Great job, girls. Appreciate that. Good song for us here this evening. And thank you to the young people for being willing to come up here and share a little bit about what happened at camp. Every time I see kids up here, I do feel for them. I remember one time where I was given a part in one of the school performances and in my overconfidence I thought I had my part memorized. And it wasn't a very long part, but it was like right out in front of everybody. And so we were going to do two performances, one for the entire school and then one for our parents. And so at the performance for the school, which had a little over 600 students, I got up there and completely blanked and stood there and didn't say anything and felt so bad. But thankfully my classmates were very encouraging. My teacher made me feel better. And so anyways, you said, well, what did you do after that? Well, I made sure I had my notes. Next time you'll notice that I always have my notes. It was a lesson that stuck with me from second grade on. So anyways, thank you for being willing to share with us tonight. Take your Bibles if you have them and turn to the Book of Second Kings. Second Kings. Chapter number 24 is where we're going to be this evening. On Wednesday nights, we've been doing a series called Refreshing Stories from the Bible. And of course, our theme this year is refresh. And so we've been looking at different stories that don't appear on the outset to have any refreshing qualities to them. And then we find that God always brings out some sort of refreshment for the people that are involved. And so since we're going to be doing something different with our mid-week services throughout the month of July, I thought that tonight and this next Wednesday, I would kind of wrap up the series and cover our last two episodes, passages of different people in the Bible and the last two people we're going to look at. We're actually contemporaries with each other and may have been even the same age. And I don't know if you've heard of this guy. His name's Daniel. Are you familiar with Daniel? No. Okay. Well, come back on Wednesday. We're going to talk about Daniel and we're the late body. You can catch up on the Old Testament a little bit there. So we'll look at his life. And so you're familiar with him. How many of you would say, you know what, there's a guy in the Old Testament and he's just one of my favorite people. I mean, I just I had Bible story books about him with cute little pictures, and Georgia Chin is just my absolute favorite. Anybody voyaging I saw you scratching your head there you care for. I think you're raising your hand. Anybody you know, brother Joe, it's all these things right now. All right, I got one. Thank you, sir. Xavier. Joy Hitchens, your favorite. Oh, you don't even know who it is. Okay, well, all right. Well, tonight, hopefully at the end, you'll know who it is, right? So if you're in your spot, go ahead and join me in standing in honor of reading God's Word. Second Kings 24. We're going to read from verse number eight down to verse number 17. The Bible says verse number eight seven Kings 24. Joy Chin was 18 years old and he began to rain rain in Jerusalem three months. His mother's name was no hush to the daughter of L. Nathan of Jerusalem. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. According to all that his father had done at that time, the servants of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, came up against Jerusalem and the city was besieged. Never Nazeer King of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it, which in the King of Judah went out to the King of Babylon. He and his mother and his servants and his princes and his officers and the King of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. He carried out this all the treasures of the house of the Lord, treasures of the King's House, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon King of Israel had made in the Temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said, and cleared away all Jerusalem and all the princes of all the mighty men of valor, even 10,000 captives, all the craftsmen and smiths, none remained saved the poorest sort of the people of the land. And he carried away Georgia Chin to Babylon and the king's mother and the king's wives and his officers and the mighty of the land those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the men of my even 7000 craftsmen and Smiths, a thousand all that were strong and out for war, even them, the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon, and the King of Babylon made Matt near his father's brother, King in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah. Let's pray. Lord, I ask that you help us now as we look into your word. I pray that you give me the words you are having to say and help the folks that are here to listen. Why would you hear their lives? It's in Jesus name. I pray. A man. Thank you for standing. You may be seated. John Newton, the famous preacher and songwriter, said that there are three wonders that he would see in heaven. He said the first wonder will be to see many people there whom I did not expect to see. The second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see. And the third and greatest wonder of all will be the find myself there. Pretty interesting. A wonder is something that is unexpected or unexplainable. We we lose the the grand ness of that word because we say a lot of things are wonderful. Doesn't always mean that they are without explanation. Maybe it does mean that they are unexpected. But our passage that we're going to look at today, tonight details a wonderful story that fits the description or the definition of the word wonder perfectly, because I believe we will see tonight some striking similarities between the life of joy in a king and our lives and our situation. Our passage begins in verse number eight with a young man named Joe Chin. And it is kind of a fun name to say, I know you're wanting to say it, so go ahead, say it. See in that fun joint. Next time you get a pet, you can name it Joy. Brother Matt, I'm thinking that's a good name for maybe a chicken or a goat has cattle or pigs, you name it. Joy. Chin, chin, chin. Yeah. Nothing's coming to me. All right. Anyways, magicians, a young man, 18 years old, I mean, his life's just getting going when he becomes the leader of the once proud country of Judah. By this time, in verse number eight, Judah is just a shell of its former self. It wasn't that long ago enjoyed Jim's time that his grandfather Josiah had led is led Judah in a great revival, and there had been many reformations and revivals that had taken place there in Judah. But in just the space of 11 years, Judah had largely returned to its wicked ways. This was led by Joy A Kim Joy Chin Joy a Kim who was Josiah's son, and Joy of Chin's father. Judah had ignored what really amounted to God's final offer of repentance, and they were now well on their way to final destruction. In fact, just three years before Joya Chin's reign had begun. Now, the confessor, who is a well-known biblical figure, had already come to is to Judah and taken possession of many of the Judean young people. These captives included a young man named Daniel. And of course, you're familiar with him and his friends and I, Michel and Azariah. Or you may know them as Shadrach, Meshach and. Abednego. It's quite probable that Daishin and Daniel were around the same age. Daniel being part of the. The nobility of of Judah. They may have even known each other their lives, though by this point could not have been more different. While Daniel is exiled in Babylon, standing for what's right, taking a stand against the king's meat and all those other things that we know and love about his life. Joshua Chin is here, still in Jerusalem, living a life that is, as the Bible said, evil in the sight of the Lord. He's following in the footsteps of his father, not the footsteps of his grandfather. And things in Judah are getting worse and worse. Now, not only had Joyce Chin inherited the morals and the throne of his father, but he had also inherited his father's problem. Aren't you grateful for all of the problems you inherited from your parents? I didn't inherit any. Okay, sure. Whatever. Maybe it's your kids that'll inherit them. Three years earlier, Joy Akim had aligned himself with Egypt in a failed attempt to defeat the Babylonians in the process of throwing down this rebellion. Now we can. Ezra's father had died. This had forced Nebuchadnezzar to return to Babylon without finishing his overthrow or destruction of Judah. And so for three years, he's been gone. And during that time, joy comes, passed off the seeing voyage and has come to the throne. And three months into his reign, Nebuchadnezzar comes back. This time he's going to come back in an attempt to finish the job. And so the newly crowned ruler of the Babylonian Empire comes to face off against the newly crowned ruler of Judah. And now we can. Ezra's going to personally oversee the siege of Jerusalem. Now, even though Judah is in a weakened state, Jerusalem is a strategically powerful city. You. You be familiar with the fact that it does sit on somewhat of a mountain. It is very difficult to overthrow Jerusalem. And armies have struggled with it throughout history. And so Nebuchadnezzar, his forces come to Jerusalem and settle in for what they know could be a several years long siege. Not days, not weeks, not months, years of them camping out outside the city of Jerusalem, waiting for it to fall. Now, Jerusalem will not fall at this point, but when it does fall, about 12 years later, it will only happen after a grueling 30 months, two and a half years, it would take Nebuchadnezzar to overthrow the city of Jerusalem. But your agent tries a different tact as never can. Ezra's armies settle in. The voyage decides that he's not even going to attempt to defend the city. The man whose office has been divinely appointed to protect the people decides. I don't think I'm going to fight. I don't think I'm going to resist. In fact, Mommy, would you go out with me to meet the opposing army? I mean, that's what happened. Did did you catch that? We were reading he goes out with his princes and his his rulers and all those other things. But before any of those, it says he went out with his mom. I love my mom. Grateful for my mom. But if I'm facing down Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most ruthless dictators in the world, probably not taking Mommy with me. That's the way George in was. He abandons his responsibility to protect the people of Judah. And I believe he does this in an attempt to secure better treatment for himself. Verse number 12 of the passage tells us that Joy, a chain goes out to Babylon and surrenders himself to Nebuchadnezzar. No doubt Hoyer assumed that if you just rolled over and submission to Nebuchadnezzar, then perhaps he would receive better treatment. Maybe now we can. Ezer would even allow him to remain as King of Judah in submission to Babylon. This was not to be Ursus 13 through 15. Tell us the Nebuchadnezzar carries away not only to voyaging and his entire family, but also all the people of Judah, except for, according to some 14, the poorest of the citizens. He also went through the King's Palace. And. Carried away all the treasure. And in an attempt to save his own skin, joy and found himself. Exiled. Thrown into a Babylonian prison. His short reign of three months has already ended. At 18 years of age, he has succeeded in turning over his city and its people to the greed and violence of Nebuchadnezzar. You read just this passage, chapter 24 versus eight through 17. You can almost feel sorry for joy again. I mean, what chance did he really have? Three months of ruling and 18 years of age? I mean, if we had an 18 year old running for president, how many of us are voting for that joker? Probably not many. And why? Because at 18, you're still trying to figure out life. You know, you've just started hashtag adulting. What do you know about ruling the country? Uh. But it does say. Verse number nine. You did that, which was evil in the sight of the Lord. So should we really feel sorry for him? But then again, how much evil can an 18 year old get into? Well, that's maybe we shouldn't ask that. Well, how much evil could he really have committed in three months, as ruling did to Hoya? Chin really deserve for God to allow these events into his life. Well. Before you make your decision, you deserve to know that this isn't the only word that the Bible gives us. Regarding Joey Chin and his his his behavior. The Bible is not silent on just how bad Joyce Chin actually was. Have your Bible still open. Go ahead and turn over to Ezekiel 19. Zeke Gill, 19. This was a sword drill. I would have beaten you all cause I turned right to it. And I didn't even have it marked. I can tell you're very impressed. Well, our passage that we read previously said that that Joey Chin did evil. Ezekiel, who was also a contemporary of George Voyage in paints a much more descriptive picture of this man's character. You see, Ezekiel had witnessed Joy Hitchens three month reign and had been taken captive as a result of his inaction. He was perhaps the most qualified person to give an account of what kind of a man George in was. And look how Ezekiel describes George in starting in verse number five of Ezekiel 19. Says now, when she saw that she had waited and her hope was lost, then she took another of her welts and made him a young lion. That young lion is joy again. Says he went up and down among the lions. He became a young lion and learned to catch the prey and devoured men. And he knew there desolate palaces and he laid waste their cities and the land was desolate and the fullness thereof by the noise of his roaring. Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces and spread their net over him. He was taken in their pit and they put him in ward, in chains, and brought him to the King of Babylon. They brought him into holds that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. Here we see George in portrayed as that young lion. And in verses six and seven we learn that George in in three months had amassed or had built a reputation for killing people, for killing his enemies. If you remember from the beginning, it's only been 11 years since Josiah has led Judah in these great religious revivals. What do you think the chances are that in 11 years there might not have been some godly advisors that were still involved in the government of the kingdom? There were probably some holdovers from the previous administrations that were still trying to be a voice for God, a voice for righteousness. No doubt these men who'd been around for a long time, they would not have agreed with the direction that Jehovah Chan and his father had taken the country. Some may, may have even had the courage to stand up to the young king and tell them he was wrong. But if we take Ezekiel's description of what kind of a man George Chin was, what do you think happened to those who stood against him? They were killed. Any man who dared to cross this young lion seeking to subjugate those who opposed him, soon found that they had placed not only themselves, but their families in danger. She knew how to silence even the most influential men who still had held position and sway with the people. No one was safe from his wrath. Men who thought they were protected by their position, by their experience, by their longevity, soon found that safety stripped away. What's sad is that not only would Joya chan kill his opponents, but verse number seven informs us that he would then misuse and abuse the widows of the men that he murdered. These widows were the treasured palaces of their husband. Because of their husband's opposition to the king. Because of their stand for. Right. They lost everything. Because of his wickedness, Ezekiel recalls. The state of Judah at the time of Nebuchadnezzar attack says the land was desolate. The land was filled with the noise of his roaring. Nobody was safe from the young lion. If any king deserved to languish away his years in the filth of a Babylonian prison. It was your kitchen. The man was an immoral, murderous coward. He spent three years, three months as king, killing and abusing his people. When it came time to fulfill his duty to protect his people, he surrendered himself and opened the doors of his city to one of the most cruel men in history. I don't think that words could probably fully describe or express the filth and scum that was destroyed in his fall in Second Kings 24 and imprisonment in Babylon were beyond deserved if anyone deserved it, which ended. And we'd probably be okay. If that's where his story ended. But surprisingly, it's not. It's an unexpected end. It's a wonderful event because joy in story doesn't end in a Babylonian prison. I want you to go back to the Second Kings. Chapter 25. Sorry. The Second King's. Chapter 25. So obviously the biggest plot twist in the Bible is Jesus was dead and he rose from the grave. You know, he's dead now. He's alive. Plot twist spoilers. If you didn't get that far yet. Bible reading. But this has got to be pretty close to the top because this this is a turn of events. This is a plot twist that that just goes beyond belief. There's one final episode enjoyed Hitchens life that demands our consideration. In Chapter 25 of Second Kings, verse number 27. I want you to read with me what happens here. It says it came to pass in the seventh and 30th year of the captivity of Georgian King of Judah in the 12th month, on the seventh and 20th day of the month, that evil married Doc King of Babylon in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of John Voyage in King of Judah out of prison, and he spake kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the Kings that were with him in Babylon and changed his prison garments. And he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. And as allowance was a continual allowance, giving him of the giving him of the king a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life. Wow. This is crazy. I mean, aren't you overwhelmed with how crazy this is? Obviously I can see it on your faces and expressions. Okay. So we've only jumped a few pages from Second Kings 24 to set Kings 25. But in Eugene's experience, 37 years have passed. You think back 37 years to where you were. I was born. So it's hard for me to do. But, you know, some of you can think back that far. Deutsch has been in prison this whole time, is now 55 years old. I know that because I added 1837 being homeschooled. That wasn't too hard for me. Now. Wickenheiser has just died. His captor is the one who defeated him. He's dead. Evil Murdoch is now king. Evil Murdoch is the son of Nebuchadnezzar. And the Bible tells us that one of the first things that evil Murdoch does, that's another fun name to say. If you want to say it, go ahead. I knew some of you wanted to. One of the first things that he does literally in the first year of his reign is to raise or release your voyage out of prison. You know, it talks about lifting up the head of Joy. It doesn't mean he, like, lifted it up off his body. It means he elevated his position. Not only does he release the former king from his jail cell, but he also treats him with incredible kindness. The Bible says that he speaks kindly to him. He gives him new clothes to replace his prison garments. He allows him to eat with the royal court. I mean, these are incredible events that are transpiring here where this man is released from prison. He's given new clothes to wear. There's this king that is speaking kindly to him that is under no obligation to do so. And he's getting into the king's table and eat the king's food. Jeremiah, 52, will not turn there, but Jeremiah, 52, also tells us that he elevated jail Hoya Chin to a place of prominence above all other defeated kings in Babylon, which the text that we read also says. Then finally, verse 30, he ensures that voyaging is given an allowance for the rest of his life. George is a prisoner in Babylon, and he's got it better than I did as a kid. I didn't get an allowance. Do you get an allowance? Raise your hand if you got an allowance. I just spoiled people. You don't get an allowance. What are you talking about? You know what's cool about this? Archeologists actually found a clay receipt for the allowance that George Washington was given by evil Murdoch. And let's just say it was enough for him to live very comfortably for the rest of his life. Now. What happened? That so dramatically changed. Circumstances and the treatment of this man voyage. I mean, he's a wicked man. Many have tried to explain why God would allow or orchestrate Georgia chains change our situation so dramatically. Some have speculated that perhaps Deutschen must have repented in prison. There's no record of that. There's nothing to indicate a repentance on his part. Others have posited that Daniel and the other Hebrew politicians must have lobbied for his release. No record of that either. Few have even claimed there was no reason for these events. Then it was just dumb luck that your voyage in was chosen to be released. What do you think? Oh. You think God might have had something to do with it? As a believer in a sovereign God, I cannot accept that it was chance that brought George in out of prison. As far as I can tell, the Bible is completely silent to any inference or interference or other reason to explain why George would have been released. The only explanation that I can see from the Scripture is that God must have placed it in the King's heart to release joy. After all, isn't the heart of the King in the hand of God. Doesn't he turn it where this however he will. But why? Why would God do this virgin voyage? Isn't this baffling? If we're going to say God allowed or orchestrated this to happen, why? Why would God show favor to such a horrible person? There must be some explanation for why God would act on behalf of such a wicked sinner. We have no record anywhere in Scripture of George in ever doing anything to earn God's favor. How do we explain God's unmerited favor on behalf of an undeserving sinner? Wouldn't it be nice if there was, like, a word that we could use to describe this? Huh? Oh, Grace, there is a word. Yeah, Grace, I believe that Joy, which in story is given to us. It's recorded and preserved throughout history to illustrate the wonder of God's amazing grace bestowed on one who has done nothing to deserve it. Wicked sinner who received favorable treatment that he did not deserve. Doesn't that sound familiar? I don't believe it's a stretch to say that your voyage and story. Is. Picture us illustrative. The story of every born again believer in this room. Today, I. I believe it's imperative. For you and me, you and I, to see ourselves in the story of your voyage. In order to do that. First off, I have to realize that I am every bit the sinner. That's a voyage in once. Do you read your and story and look at him as if I'm better than him? I'm I'm a sinner, but I'm not that kind of sinner. Deutsch and proved he deserved his situation. Even if we just look at the first two sins that that is equal spoke about, then most of us would have to declare ourselves guilty. It's a hold up. I've never killed anyone, and I've never committed the type of gross immorality that he did. Haven't you? I mean, first, John 315 says who whosoever hated his brother is a murderer. Have you ever been guilty of hate? Didn't Jesus say didn't we just look at it on Sunday mornings in Matthew 528? I say unto you that whosoever look upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. Lust isn't just a male problem. So if we've hated. And we've lusted. How are we any different from geology? God's eyes. I'm just as big a sinner. I'm just as guilty as George and was. Don't you know that joy was carried off into captivity as he was imprisoned because of his actions and who he was? The kitchen was powerless to change his situation. There was no army that he could summon that would release him. There was no there was no there were no funds that he could hand over in exchange for his freedom. There was nothing that he could do to to manipulate or pay or power his way out. Sounds similar to our plight, doesn't it? We cannot work for our salvation. We don't have the power to to push through to salvation. We can't purchase our own salvation. Which leads me to my next point. That's why I'm pleased to inform you. We've been offered the same grace that Joyce Chin was offered. He was offered a pardon for his from his punishment. Just as Christ has offered us a pardon from our sins. Now Deutsche and could have refused the king's offer of freedom. Couldn't he? How do you think that would have gone? You sitting over there. I made some down bench, you know, just wallowing away at the time. 37 years. Who knows if you shaved shower during that time. It stinks. He's nasty. The Babylonian guard comes to the door, opens the cell and says, Yo, yo, Hoya boy. The King wants to let you free. Deutschland looks at her and says, you know. That's really nice, but. I kind of like it here myself. I mean, the gruel is just really good in here. I think I'll just stay put. I mean, if you're in jail and someone offers you a pardon, you'd have to be a fool to say I'd rather stay here. Hello. Offers you a party. All right. Yeah. Let's go. Come on. How many people? Turn down Jesus offer of a pardon. And say no. I'd rather stay in chains to my sin. I'd rather stay a slave to sin. I would rather pay my own debt, which can never be paid. He could have refused. Just as we can refuse God's offer of salvation. And as foolish as it would be for Joy Kitchen to refuse evil Murdock's offer of grace, it is just as foolish for us to refuse God's offer of grace to us. But Joy Chen did. Come out of prison. He was given new clothes. Prison garments are gone. New robes are worn. The picture continues. Arson stained garments can be exchanged for robes of righteousness. We don't wear the same clothes that we wore when we were slaves to sin. It was allowed to eat at the King's table. I can't help but equate this to the great privilege we have as Christians to eat at our Kings table. Enjoy the spiritual food that he has prepared for us. It's available to us, and the Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us digest it. I was told my illustrations this morning were too graphic, so we'll just stop there. It was looked after. By one that was greater than he. There was somebody greater than him. That was taking care of him, providing for him, protecting him. Is it not clear from Scripture that God looks after provides for his children? Consider the lilies. So not. They're here one day and they're thrown into the oven the next day. Are you not much more special than they are? The birds do not farm, but they are fed. The flowers do not spin, but they are clothed. How much more special are we to our Savior? You see, you and I have been treated favorably. Though we did not deserve it by our gracious God. There are two requests that I would make of you tonight. Number one, if you are not saved. You have never received God's free pardon from your sin. Then this evening. Won't you make that decision? He's offering you pardon from your sins, the the the breaking of his law that you have committed countless times since your birth. Jesus paid that price for you. God's pardon is offered to every man, but many have refused him. Why would you remain a prisoner when you could be free? Joy. It was an awful, wicked sinner. Yet God was gracious to him and he will be to you. He has promised that he will. The second request that I would make to you tonight. That those of you who have experienced the grace of God. But you wouldn't keep it to yourself. You've been released. You've been made free. Now it's time to tell others how they can be made free to. John Newton gave us the quote at the beginning of our message. If any man knew the wonder of God's grace. It was John. I think he may have even wrote. Written. Wrote a song about it. Amazing Grace. He wrote Amazing Grace, people. John Newton took the grace that he had received and shared it with millions throughout his life, through his sermons and his songs, which still touched the lives of millions today. What are you going to do with God's grace that He has shown in your life? You keep it to yourself. Or will you share it with others? Hoisting didn't start off all that refreshing. But it's pretty cool what God brought out of his life, isn't it? It is refreshing. Let's pray their father. Thank you for this day. Thank you for the time we've been able to spend together. Looking at this man's life he received. Favor from you, though he did not deserve it. As distasteful as his life may be to us. It would be wrong in concluding or judging him without looking at ourselves. Or each one of us. Guilty of sin. In a need of your grace. Each one of us can be made free through your son. Jesus Christ. What if there's somebody here this evening that is not saved? I pray that tonight would be the time. They would come and let one of us take a Bible and show them how they can know for sure their sins are forgiven. They could receive the pardon that you are offering to them. Lord, for those that are here this evening, that are your children, your disciples, recipients of Your Grace Lord, I pray that they would take their responsibility seriously to share that grace with those that they come into contact with on a daily and weekly basis. Lord, I pray that you would be at work during our time of invitation. You use your Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts. Jesus name. They ask these things. Amen.