Today’s reading: II Chronicles 34-36; John 19:1-22 19
15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. John 19:15-16
And they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels. 20 He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years. II Chronicles 36:19-21
When people attempt to flee from God, they always flee to something else.
The margin notes in the Reformation Study Bible helpfully point out that at Jesus’ trial, the chief priests in their eagerness to rid themselves of Jesus Christ confessed to being loyal to Caesar. In other words, they forsook their professed allegiance to the Lord God as their ruler (Psalm 24; 47). God alone is ruler over all the nations and peoples of the earth. He alone is worthy of worship and praise. But the chief priests, in rejecting Christ, enthroned Caesar in their hearts and minds. Such was the level of their sin.
The people of Judah had also forsaken their God, despite the brief return to some level of faithfulness under the reign of Josiah. In fleeing from God, even by failing to honor one of His laws like the keeping of the Sabbath, they turned to other gods and other laws. God through Jeremiah told them they would pay for their negligence of the Sabbaths. They would have forced Sabbath-keeping during their seventy years of exile. This was the indictment against Judah that resulted in their captivity in Babylon.
Keep your heart with all vigilance (Proverbs 4:23) for those who abandon the Lord do not move to a neutral position spiritually and theologically, but they actually flee into the arms of Satan.