“So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived.” 2 Kings 25:29-30
Jehoiachin was one of the many kings of Judah. King Nebuchadnezzar had taken him, his family, and his nation captive in 567 AD. But about 38 years later, Nebuchadezzar’s son and successor, Evil-merodach, freed Jehoiachin from prison, and a daily provision was made for him by the king for the rest of his life. He was 64 years old.
And he was now “free.”
I love what the records says about the moment of his being freed: It says that “he put off his prison garments.” He traded out the garments of confinement for the clothes of a free man. The identity of prison dropped away. It was a new day. He was free, and he knew it.
It was no longer appropriate to be dressed for jail. He was free, and his clothing, lifestyle, behavior, perspective and his attitude needed to come in line with those facts. How odd it would have been for him to retain the wardrobe of a prisoner while he was living as a guest of the King!
But I have done that.
When I became a Christ follower, the King set me free from a lifestyle and limitations of self-dependence and self-focus and into a lifestyle of limitless freedom. He pledged, on the honor of His reputation and from His unlimited resources, to provide an allowance according to my daily needs. He gave me the clothes of freedom to wear, the status of sonship in the kingdom. I am free, and He is pleased.
To often, though, when the daylight dims and life begins to roll over me, I can forget the Presence of the One who promises never to leave, who is always working on my behalf. I quickly assume an inward perspective. I see lack instead of provision. I see fear instead of protection. I see the height of the challenge instead of the Way through it all.
I too easily slip back into the clothes of prison.
I imagine in Jehoiachin’s day, that there may have been people in and out of the kingdom who recognized him in the king’s company as the man who used to be in prison. I wonder if they questioned how the lifestyle change had happened. I wonder if they challenged his right to be walking with the king in the clothing of free men.
The only needed response would have been, “I am free, because the king says so.”
Today, let’s walk in the clothing of free men, with hope, with power and with faith in the King who says so.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'” John 8:34-36
SMOOTHSTONE: We are free, because God says so.