Another 140 years passed, and we come to the reign of the last four kings of Judah, all of whom were treacherous, corrupt, and careless of God’s requirements for those in authority over His people. Of the last of these kings, we read, “Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD.” (2 Chron.36:11-12)
The anger of the Lord was revealed through His prophets, chiefly Jeremiah. “The LORD said, ‘I will also remove Judah from My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’ ” (2 Kings 23:27)
“O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD: ‘Write this man [King Jeconiah] down as childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days; for none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.’ ” (Jeremiah 22:29-30)
Judah was deported to Babylon, Jerusalem was destroyed, and there were no more kings ruling on the throne of David. Jeremiah suffered greatly at the hands of these last kings, and it seemed as though everything concerning the PROMISE had been overturned. But the Lord wanted Jeremiah to know that this was not so.
He received this encouraging word. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)
And Ezekiel received the following word, “And you, O profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, thus says the Lord GOD: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it until He comes, the One to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to Him.” (Ezekiel 21:25-27)
From the days of Adam and Eve man’s failure, corruption, disobedience and lack of concern for God is written throughout the pages of Biblical history. But intertwined with this wretchedness is a thin scarlet cord of FAITH, whereby the PROMISE of God is kept alive through faithful men like the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.