“A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness will prolong his days» (Proverbs 28:16).
Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, had agreed to live under the sovereignty of Wept by paying a heavy tribute (2 Kings 23:35). However, Nebuchadnezzar Il, king of Babylon, had defeated Pharaoh Necho Il and his army in the famous Battle of Carchemish (605 BC), and now Jehoiakim was obliged to change his alliance with Egypt for a new oath of allegiance to Babylon (2 Kings 24:1). Jehoiakim had ascended to the throne on 609 BC. At twenty-five years of age, showing a deep contempt for his people and giving evidence of his true intentions: to maintain ties with Egypt, his great savior, and to amass fortune through abuse, corruption, and injustice (Jeremiah 22), as well as building luxurious residences for his shady businesses.
Then, God sent a message to the prophet Jeremiah to warn the monarch of his ungodly conduct (Jeremiah 36:2, 3). The prophet obeyed and dictated to Baruch the words that God had inspired to him. Subsequently, the message was read to the people of Israel at the entrance of the sanctuary. After a short time, Jehoiakim was informed of the matter. Then he listened attentively to the reading in the company of his advisors. The monarch reacted in a singular to the biblical message. As three or four lines were read, Jehoiakim began to cut the scroll with a scribe stylus. Then, at the astonishment of his counselors, he threw it into a brazier until all the sacred text was consumed.
At a time when leadership was demanded that favored economic, social, and spiritual reforms in the kingdom of Judah, the king thought he would devote time to filling his pockets with money! In addition, he rejected the word of God in the face of a crisis ahead of him. For King Jehoiakim, Egypt represented the great hope. In the year 598 BC, emboldened by the Egyptians, he openly rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar Il. He persuaded the inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah that if they fought against Babylon, the Egyptians would not forsake them, which brought on a new invasion of the mighty Chaldean army. The truth is that the Egyptians never thought of helping him. Possibly, the king of Judah died during the siege of Jerusalem in the year 598 BC. He couldn’t even enjoy the fruit of his shady business. Ask God to make you a leader at the level of the circumstances you face.