King Jehoiakim’s name means, “he whom Yahweh has set up.” The terrible truth is that God is willing for his precious and holy things to spend time in enemy territory in order to fashion his children into his image. This wasn’t a hiccup – it was a reset by the will of God.
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
26 Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to arouse his anger. 27 So the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’”
29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo. 30 Josiah’s servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father.
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 32 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done. 33 Pharaoh Necho put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and he imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34 Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim.
2Kings 23:26-27, 29-34
The back story of Daniel 1 is 2Kings 23-24. The Lord was angry at the rebellion of Israel, and specifically for the actions of Manasseh for the shedding of innocent blood. King Jehoiakim, who was king at the time of the Babylonian invasion of Israel, was put in place by Pharaoh Necho from Egypt, who also had attacked and ruled Israel. Necho gave the king the name Jehoiakim, which means in Hebrew:“he whom Yahweh has set up.”
Indeed. What was about to happen was indeed a set up. We read in the next chapter of 2Kings: “Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command…” (2Kings 24:3). God was allowing these things to happen. And by saying that God was allowing them, he was causing them. The mysteries of God’s will in terms of his sovereignty and his permissive will are great – I don’t anticipate understanding these mysteries on this side of heaven.
Here’s what I know about Jehoiakim. He, like many before him, did evil in the eyes of God. During his reign, God delivered him into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. It was a set up. And it was in order to discipline Israel over the course of a generation of their people. This wasn’t a hiccup in their walk with God. This was a reset, and it as orchestrated by God.
Notice in Daniel 1:2 above that God even included articles from the temple – the precious and holy things of God – in the delivering of Israel into the hands of Babylon. God is willing to allow his precious and holy things to spend time in the hands of the enemy in order to fashion his children into his image. And let’s compound the truth by noting that this could occur over a generation. That should both frighten and encourage us.
God is so committed to us that he is willing to put his precious and holy treasures on the table for the sake of our growth and development toward his likeness. At the same time, he also is so serious about it that he will discipline us severely toward his heavenly goal.
Does this mean that my children or grandchildren could be caught up in the discipline of my generation in order to fashion the Kinna’s into image of God for eternity? It appears so. And that raises the stakes of my commitment to serving God with wholehearted devotion and a willing mind. How about you?