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Rock Hill, SC, United States
"My heart is overflowing with a good theme. I recite my compositions concerning the King. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." (Psalm 45:1) This verse has become a life verse for me. As I continue to walk it out, I realize this journey as a breast cancer survivor has changed me but does not define me. I remain the loved, chosen, redeemed and blessed child of the living God who supplies me daily with more hope, strength, grace and courage than I ever dreamed I could possess! God has been so good to me ... indeed my tongue is the pen of a ready writer ... poised to tell the story of my faithful Father! I love Him so!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A King's Tale

As the title implies, this is a king's tale ... in fact, three kings in all ...

First, we have Jehoiachin, king of Judah. He ascended to the throne when he was just 18 years old. Unfortunately, his lifestyle was one of depravity and, just like his forerunners, his reign was surely headed in that direction; however, Jehoiachins reign was cut short. He ruled for a mere 3 months and 10 days before Nebuchadnezzar captured Judah and carried them off to exile in Babylonia. 

Then, there is Awel-Marduk, who was the son of  Nebuchadnezzar. Remember, it was Nebuchadnezzar who was the reigning king when the exiles were brought to their new home in Babylon. Awel-Marduk ascended the throne after his fathers death only to find his reign, like Jehoiachins, would also be a short one. It lasted from 562 to 560 BC

These two meet on the pages of history and the climax of their encounter is recorded in the last four verses of the last chapter of Jeremiah ... 

31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah and freed him from prison. 32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 34 Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death. (Jeremiah 52:31-34 NIV) 

                                A Seat of Honor,  
                                             New Clothing, 
                                                     A Seat at the Kings Table, 
                                                                  Allowance and Provision

All of this, the king gave to Jehoiachin ... and that's a real fine thing. A heartwarming end to a bitter story and when I first read this passage, about 2 1/2 months ago, I was walking through a little bit of personal bitterness and chaos of my own. 

I was feeling rejected, hopeless, closed in, trapped, bound, and unsure of what to do next. God used this encounter, this tale of two kings, to remind me that in the midst of my struggle He is my King. He is my Security, my Provision, my Freedom, my Everything! And it soon became apparent to me that there were similarities in this story and in mine.

Come along with me and lets discover it together. 

The first thing we notice when we read these verses is that Jehoiachin waited 37 years for his freedom. WHAT?!?! … Thirty-seven years? I’ve experienced dry desert spells, pain beyond belief but nothing, absolutely nothing, has plagued me for thirty-seven years. How about you?

But that's exactly how long he spent enduring exile and prison before his freedom came but it did come.  And, so has ours ...

I don't know what shackles you may find yourself in but I am here to proclaim to you that our freedom has come! Our King has come to loosen every shackle and set us free! Our prison may not be a physical prison but it is a spiritual one and we will remain there, in prison, until we allow Him to be the Lord of our lives. 

And right there, on the altar of sweet surrender, is where we will see His kindness that will lead us to repentance and repentance that will lead us to freedom where we now can take a seat of honor. This is our inheritance in Christ Jesus! He has set the captives free!

Is this speaking to anybody?
the new king freed him and spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor.  

But freedom, kindness, and a seat of honor is not all …
Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes

What a shame it would have been for him to have chosen to stay dressed like a prisoner after he had been set free. Likewise, it makes me wonder why there are so many Christians still sporting their prison clothes after their bondage is broken and their freedom has come?  

No! Not me! I’m not choosing my prison clothes any longer! Nope, in Christ I am clothed in garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness! I'm a daughter of the King and so I will dress like one! I will make it my aim to act like one too!

But his new clothes were not even all …
… and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table.

Come and dine ... now there's a thought ... and right there at the Kings table, too. I’ll take it!

But a seat at the king’s table was not even all …
34 Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance 
as long as he lived, till the day of his death.

This speaks provision to me. Can you hear it too? And, I sure need it! I need a Provider. One who can, and will, meet my every need! The king gave Jehoiachin an allowance all the days of his life and we assume that this is referring to a monetary allowance. But our King does it even better!

Our King gives us an inheritance all the days of our lives ~ It begins in this life but will be fully known in the life to come! He is our "right now inheritance" and our "eternal inheritance"! He is our "right now reward" and our "eternal reward"! He is mine and yours and we are His! He gives Himself ~ to walk alongside each one of us ~ every day, all the days, of our life!

That's a King's tale worth sharing! Worth shouting about! There are captives who need to hear this simple truth ... He has come to set us free! 

Well, all of this kinda makes me think of the song recorded by Mandisa … Shackles ... have you heard it? It's been on repeat on my iPod for about 2 weeks now! I thought it would be a good idea if, for our prayer today, we paused and listened to it (I've posted the audio below for ya!) and while we do let's be sure to lift our hands and our hearts in praise and thanks to God for removing our shackles and giving us our freedom! 

So, go on ... Rise up and claim your inheritance!

But as you listen, if you realize you are still in spiritual bondage ... Just know that He is  as close as the mention of His name! Cry out to Him ... He will remove your shackles and He will be your freedom! I promise!

So, come on ... Rise up and claim your inheritance!

I'll be looking for you around the throne!
Cindy K

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