Nebuchadnezzar and his soldiers marched into Jerusalem, and “when Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled, going out of the city at night by way of the king's garden through the gate between the two walls; and they went toward the Arabah” (39:4). Zedekiah ran, but he could not run far enough or fast enough to escape God’s judgment upon him and upon Judah, and Nebuchadnezzar killed his sons and “put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains to take him to Babylon” (39:7). These are painful and gut-wrenching stories but they serve as reminders about the ugliness an consequences of sin.
On the other hand, “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, ‘Take him, look after him well, and do him no harm, but deal with him as he tells you’” (39:11-12). I am reminded of the man whose delight is in the Lord and the wicked man of Psalm 1. It has been, and it will always be, that those who love the Lord and stay close to him are blessed while those who reject his goodness can expect sorrows.
That man is blest who, fearing God,
from sin restrains his feet,
who will not stand with wicked men,
who shuns the scorners’ seat.
Yea, blest is he who makes God’s law
his portion and delight,
and meditates upon that law
with gladness day and night. –Trinity Psalter