The Second Book of Kings is like flying over the landscape of history. There is a monotonous repetition of kings with faith in the true God, and kings who gave in to idol worship thus bringing destruction to their people and themselves. When there is glittering hope that things can become stable and faithfulness in God steady then a total fall comes. It is a said journey, showing what we, humans are as history, staggering between genuine prayer and destructive idol worship (our achievements).
What happens to Zedekiah is heart-breaking. He is defeated by Nabuchadnezzar king of Babylon. ‘On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night… and the king went the way toward the plain. And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king and overtook him in the plain of Jericho: and all his army were scattered around him. So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Rilah; and they gave judgement upon him. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.’
History, when we make a mistake at its crucial turning point is cruel. The birds eye view what the Bible offers on the human condition, does contain our present historical landscapes, too. May be, there is a similar siege to our cities and culture. May be, ‘Babylon’ is analogous to the threat of the ecological crisis which our idol-worship inflicted upon us.
If there is no conversion and change of heart (see the repentance of king Manasseh who was brought back from the exile to rule again in Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 33), history is cruel. Though there is hope, but if that hope is not toiled for - the same cruel landscape of events will unfold. Without the rediscovery of the life giving power of the Redeemer, there is no change of the course of events. Babylon (the empire of consumption) is cruel, just as our self-created idols are. Spirit of Christ, awaken us!
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..