Jeremiah 52, Psalm 36
The Old Testament is full of high and low points. The lowest point of not only Jeremiah’s book, but perhaps the entire Old Testament is found in Jeremiah’s last chapter. After many years where kings in David’s line reject God’s call upon their lives, Zedekiah ends that reign in humiliation. His sons are cut down before his very eyes, before his eyes are cut out as well. Solomon’s Temple, the glory of Israel, that years earlier had been built of the best material, in meticulous fashion, is destroyed in reckless ways. Judah’s nobles are deposed, and the city is desolate. However, we end Jeremiah reading that Jehoiachin, the king first exiled by Babylon is shown kindness by his captors. This is an intentional contrast to Zedekiah, Babylon’s appointed King that is humiliated. Beyond this contrast serving as a measure of vindication of Jeremiah’s prophetic witness against Zedekiah and for cooperating with Babylon, there is more at stake with Jehoiachin's release. The hope implicit in the final verses is clear. Even after Babylon defeats Judah, it is still possible King will come to rule over Israel and restore peace even after Babylonian destruction. Even in our lowest points, as long as God rules, there is still hope, and we must cling to this hope even when we cannot see reason for such confidence.