2019 Advent Devotional – Day 7


Matthew 1:12-16 – The end of the Davidic monarchy

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

Steadfast - Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

Perhaps the lowest point of the history of the Davidic kings was the rule of Jechoniah. This is also the last character in Matthew’s genealogy about whom much is known today, as the remaining names—comprising the third section of Jesus’ family tree—are largely obscure. Jeconiah, however, doesn’t depart quietly.

Instead, having followed the example of most of his ancestors in ignoring the teachings of God and living in a manner that displeased God, Jechoniah ruled for only three months before the king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem. Jeconiah surrendered and his submission initiated the exile of thousands of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as well as the destruction of the Temple and all its treasures.

Jechoniah’s infamy was completed with the shame of being condemned by God. It was a sad and pitiful end to the Davidic monarchy: exiled and condemned, with God allowing his chosen people to be given over into the hands of their enemies. And yet, although associated with the bleakest events of the people of Israel, Jechoniah nevertheless has a place in the family tree of Jesus. Jechoniah’s inclusion demonstrates that, even at our lowest point, God is still with us, and moreover can still work through us to achieve God’s plan for us. Even ignoring God to the point of being condemned is insufficient to ultimately separate us from God.

* See 2 Kings 24 and Jeremiah 22:24-30 for the full account of Jechoniah (referred to as Jehoiachin in these verses)

Redeeming God,
Time and again I stray from the path you would have me follow. I neglect your teaching and am too often undeserving of your love and care. I give thanks that you never leave me, encouraging me always to turn closer to you. I praise you in wonder that your love surmounts my shortcomings and my faithlessness, embracing me with compassion and understanding. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2020.

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