For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.
Key Verse Thought: Read the Key Verse and understand that God sees and knows all. God knows when His people do wrong. Nothing can be hidden from God. Keep that thought in mind as we remember the final kings of Judah today. God saw and knew of their wickedness, and He did not let it go unpunished.
Emphasis: We are to understand that God sees and knows all – there is nothing hidden from God. He sees mankind’s sin. We will remember again in this lesson, that there is a penalty for sin. Nevertheless, God left them with hope.
Lesson Summary: In our last lesson, we read of the last good king of Judah, King Josiah. He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. King Josiah made many great reformations, including repairing the house of the Lord. While repairs were being made, a book of the Law was found. When the king heard the Words read, he rent his clothes in repentance. He led all of Judah to make a covenant with the Lord to obey His commands. King Josiah died, and we then come to the final four kings of Judah: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. Jehoahaz did evil and only reigned for three months because the king of Egypt took him. Jehoahaz died in Egypt. The king of Egypt made his brother, Eliakim (changing his name to Jehoiakim) king instead. He too, was an evil king, and King Jehoiakim reigned for eleven years. During his reign, Babylon became known as their enemy, and King Jehoiakim served them for three years. “So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead” (2 Kings 24:6). Babylon began to besiege Jerusalem during his reign, “and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign” (2 Kings 24:12). After carrying away everything of value (including the king, his family, princes, and servants), the king of Babylon made Jehoiakim’s brother, Mattaniah, the king – changing his name to Zedekiah. Zedekiah was a bad king and he reigned for eleven years. None of these men were good kings, and all of them led Judah further from God’s commands – until God allowed Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to invade the land. He destroyed the house of the Lord, broke down the walls of Jerusalem and burned the city gates. He killed many and took more hostages to his land, making them his servants. Babylon besieged Judah in the 9th year of King Zedekiah, and then they took Judah captive. Nevertheless, we find a word of promise – God touched the heart of a king seventy years later, sending God’s people home to rebuild the house of the Lord.
If you are teaching this lesson to younger children, the following is a craft idea to reinforce this leson: