It is a measure of God’s judgment against the life and character of a deceased king that the Lord would deny him a dignified burial. The kings of God’s people had worshiped the sun, moon, and stars. Now their remains were left uncovered before the celestial bodies they seemed to prefer to the invisible God. Life would be very difficult for the members of the ruling class that survived. They had dishonored their God, and He would send them out of the Promised Land. Instead of wealth and prestige, they would soon live in disgrace.
God had sent many warnings, yet these were not heeded. The leaders of Judah showed no sensitivity to His hand of correction and were in perpetual rebellion.
Despite the Lord’s words and actions against those in authority, the prophets and priests were stuck on the idea that they were wise, and that they were in the right concerning the Law. They thought that they would soon experience “peace” from the hand of God, but the future before them would not be bright. God would cause some to lose their wives and their fields to conquerors. The Lord would come to His “fig tree” and examine her for ripe fruit, but would find none. (Matthew 21:19)
It was inescapable that Israel’s biggest problem in life and death was the righteous judgment of God against their sin. One day Christ would come as the Great Physician—not the false doctor who might try to convince the patient that the wound was slight when it was life-threatening, but the healer who would cure their disease by taking their soul sickness upon Himself.
He had no sin, but He carried the guilt of His people through the wonder of the cross. Now our hope goes far beyond the grave. The Lord’s promise for us is so much more than an honorable and orderly burial. The dead in Christ shall rise to eternal blessedness, and there will be a final separation between the world and the church. That “balm” for our sin-sick souls has come, and He has defeated sin, death, and even the grave.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Eternal Lord, we live for a time on this earth, and then all that remains of us are dry bones. Is there hope for resurrection? Surely Your Son has risen from the dead. He has assured us that we have resurrection hope in Him. He said that He went to prepare a place for us, that where He is, we also shall be. Though we have sinned badly, He is the hope of our weak souls. We have been greedy in our hearts for unjust gain. We have joined a loud chorus of those who claim to know You, and yet who keep on sinning. Is there a way of peace for people like us? We thank You for the way of life through faith in Jesus Christ. He has defeated that serpent of old. Though our joy on earth may be gone, we have yet a spark of hope and a weak flame of new life. Hear our prayer and heal us. Restore us once again to a more vigorous spiritual health.