Many good parents have children who refuse to follow God. That was true of King Josiah – who followed God – and his son, King Jehoiakim – who was evil. Jehoiakim continued the regrettable tradition of royal rebellion against God.
Jehoiakim’s reign marked the beginning of the end for the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
He was originally named Eliakim by his father, Josiah, but Pharaoh Neco of Egypt changed his name after he took his brother, King Jehoahaz, captive to Egypt and installed Jehoiakim as the new king.
I. The Raising of Neco’s Tribute (2Ki. 23:34-37)
Jehoiakim was required to pay Pharaoh Neco a large sum of tribute money, so he imposed a real estate tax to raise the money. The Bible labels Jehoiakim’s reign as evil (2Ki. 23:34-36).
He killed the prophet, Uriah (Jer. 26:20-23). And, while he ruled, Judah became a pawn in the power struggle between Egypt and Babylon.
II. The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki. 24:1-4,7)
The Babylonians gained control over Judah. At first, Jehoiakim chose to surrender Judah as a vassal – dependent – state of Babylon, rather than challenging their rule. But, 3 years later, Jehoiakim rebelled; King Nebuchadnezzar exiled him and many other leaders to Babylon (2Chron. 36:6).
III. The Rest of Jehoiakim’s Life (2Ki. 24:8-17)
Nebuchadnezzar then installed Jehoiakim’s son as king… later deposed and exiled him, too… and installed Jehoiakim’s brother as king. After that, the Babylonians broke down the walls of Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed. And the kingdom of Judah came to an end… in 586BC.
For many years to come, the country would simply be a province of foreign powers.
Eventually, Jehoiakim was allowed to return to Jerusalem… where he died.
A parent who believes the truths of God’s Word has no guarantee that his/her child(ren) will share those beliefs. Children require loving, intimate, ongoing training. They must be taught about faith, and parents dare not leave the task for others to do. Make sure you practice, explain, and teach your faith to your children.
* Good parenting is not good parenting unless it includes training one’s child(ren) to trust God.
You can read Jehoiakim’s story in 2Kings 23:34—24:6; 2Chronicles 36:4-8; and Jeremiah 22:18-23.