“And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived.” — 2 Kings 25:27-30, ESV
This sounds like an incredible act of deliverance. Imagine, at one moment you’re king of Judah (or queen if you’re a lady reading this). Then next, you’re a prisoner in the prisons of the nation that conquered you. That’s such a drastic change. Not only that, while you’re in prison, your whole nation has been taken captive and now lives under the rule of another. You’re in captivity.
Then one day, you’re released by the king. Evil-merodach. His name may sound like the name of a character in a Star Wars movie, but it doesn’t matter—you’re free!!! He releases you from prison. He gives you new clothes, probably pretty costly. Of course, the quality of the clothes that you receive doesn’t really matter since you’ve been wearing prison clothes for so long. Anything else would be outstanding. On top of that (getting new clothes), you also dine with the king daily at his table for dinner, which means you get the best of the best in fine cuisine. On top of that, you get a regular allowance given by the king. The lottery hasn’t even been invented yet but you feel like you’ve won it. It’s the jackpot that everyone wants to hit.
All is well. You may even thank God like a celebrity who doesn’t really know him but only that he/she doesn’t want to mess up the good luck that he/she is experiencing. And you live out the rest of your days free. Except for this fact: YOU’RE NOT FREE!!!! You’re still in captivity.
Have you settled for the comfortable while never experiencing freedom? Have you enjoyed the “care” of sin and the Enemy so much so that true freedom is not even a desire anymore? As I read this passage a few days ago, I was so humbled. As I read it again this morning I asked myself this question: “Is there anything in my life that shows that I have opted out of freedom in Christ for the comfortable world of complacency and pleasure?”
Have you exchanged the freedom that is found in a relationship with Christ for a level of comfort that keeps you fat and happy the rest of your life? In Christ, I’m free to NOT sin. I’m free to serve Jesus. I’m free to experience true life rather than settling for a facade. I’m free to enjoy God and to be enjoyed by him. I’m free to accept Christ’s mission for my life. I’m forgiven. I’m free to bring glory to Jesus. I’m free to laugh. I’m free to play. I’m free to serve others. I’m free to be real and honest, raw in the realities of my life and the weaknesses of my soul. I’m free to roam in this adventure that Christ invites me to join him on. I’M FREE!!! And there are “dangers” and frustrations along the way, but I would rather be completely free to live, with opposition, rather than comfortable and dying.
Have you settled?