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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Nebuchadnezzar and Jehoiakim (Holy Warriors Part 2)

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Today’s readings:

2 Kings 24:8-17

Psalm 79:1-9

Yesterday we saw how King Hezekiah, threatened by King Sennacherib of Assyria, turned to God and God settled the war for him. God sent just one angel who killed 185,000 Assyrians and that ended the fight (in fact, there was no actual fight). God had sent His holy warrior, an angel.

Today we read about King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon against, first King Jehoiakim whom he defeated, and second King Jehoiachin his son, whom he also defeated. Why were they defeated? “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father had done.” (2 Kgs 24:9). They were warriors, but unholy ones. King Nebuchadnezzar then sacked the treasures of the temple and of the king, and “deported all Jerusalem: all the officers and warriors of the army, ten thousand in number” (2 Kgs 24:14a). “All seven thousand soldiers of the army, and a thousand artisans and smiths, all of them trained warriors, these too the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.” (2 Kgs 24:16). They were trained warriors, but were unholy. And so they were defeated.

Asaph lamented this. “O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.” (Ps 79:1). Very many died, left to rot (Ps 79:2-3). And the God of Israel and His special people were subjected to scorn. “We have become the reproach of our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.” (Ps 79:4).

This was the pattern of the long history of Israel. As long as they lived their covenant with God, they were holy warriors who won their battles. But when they turned away from God, they were defeated, decisively.

It is the same today. Very many Catholics, lay as well as priests and nuns, even some bishops, are not only not holy, but have become the enemy within. They embrace or at the very least say nothing about the culture of death pervading the whole world and significant parts of our Church. They have become modernist in outlook and living. Some side with secular powers in assaulting holy Mother Church. Many are in serious wrongdoing.

Now some of those are those who are serving in parishes, are members of communities that do the work of evangelization, are working for family and life, are helping the poor. But why is it that with all the work being done, the Church is still shrinking and weakening? Why are we in effect losing the fight? Because there are few holy warriors.

If we are not holy warriors, then we go into the fight on our own. And we cannot prevail over the powerful enemy. We may beg God all we want. “How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous anger keep burning like fire?” (Ps 79:5). We may beg God to fight with us and for us. “Pour out your wrath on nations that do not recognize you, on kingdoms that do not call on your name.” (Ps 79:6). We may beg for mercy. “Let your compassion move quickly ahead of us, for we have been brought very low.” (Ps 79:8b). We may appeal to His pride (ha, ha). “Help us, God our savior, on account of the glory of your name.” (Ps 79:9a). All those would be for naught, unless we become holy warriors.

What then should be do? If we are to prevail over the powerful enemy, then God must fight with us and for us. For God to do that, we must live out our covenant as His people, and become true disciples of Jesus. Only then can we become holy warriors of the Holy Spirit.

What then must we do? The first is to turn away from sin in repentance. “Deliver us, pardon our sins for your name’s sake.” (Ps 79:9b). Then we must strive to live our lives in Christ. That means to walk the path of holiness.

Arise, holy warriors!

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