As God’s instrument of judgment, the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and the surrounding Judean towns. In the town of Mizpah a new government had been set up by the Babylonians under the leadership of Gedaliah – there was hope of some stability after the devastation.

  1. Introducing Nebuzaradan

I used to often walk past the Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall in London. There are some statues along the front of the building, one of which is of Field Marshall Alanbrooke. At the time of the second world war, Field Marshall Alanbrooke had the title of CIGS: Chief of the Imperial General Staff – he was the head of the British Army. Nebuzaradan was the head of the Babylonian army and he took the title Commander of the Imperial Guard – perhaps he might have abbreviated his title to CIG had he lived in our times.

As human beings we were created in the image of God, but through the sin of our forefather, Adam we are born as people who are separated from God. But God loves us! He gave himself to die on the cross, in doing so, the ransom price for sin is paid and we may access forgiveness and a return to fellowship with God by simply placing our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Statisticians speak of continuous variables, categorical variables and dichotomous variables. This is simpler than it sounds!

  1. Settling down?

After the battle for Baghdad in 2003 it seems that many in the scattered Iraqi army fled the city before the American soldiers arrived – abandoning their posts, some formed insurgent groups and others simply melted into the civilian world. This allowed a number of them continue to wage war against the invading western forces. In a similar way, after the siege of Jerusalem, many of the Judean soldiers had fled and were still scattered in the countryside around the Jerusalem area.

The Lord had offered the king of Judah, Zedekiah, a choice. He could surrender to the Babylonian army and live or he could resist and die.