2 Kings 25:22-24 NLTse Then King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan as governor over the people he had left in Judah. (23) When all the army commanders and their men learned that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they went to see him at Mizpah. These included Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite, and all their men. (24) Gedaliah vowed to them that the Babylonian officials meant them no harm. “Don’t be afraid of them. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well for you,” he promised.
The first question here has to be, who is Gedaliah? We’re not told a whole lot about Gedaliah up to this point. He just appeared in the story. But this is an important movement. Nebuchadnezzar just ended the succession of kings on Jerusalem’s throne from David’s line. Wouldn’t you think that would be something worth studying? It is. And this is another chance for serious students of scripture to hone important, but easy study skills. All we need to do is search Gedaliah in a Concordance or Bible program. What do we find? We find a number pf people named Gedaliah in scripture. I’ll bet you didn’t expect to see that. Now think about this. What do you have to do now? Of course you have to look at each time Gedaliah is mentioned in scripture to make sure you are gathering information about the Gedaliah you are studying. Did you catch that lesson? There is no way you can apply what is written about a different Gedaliah to the one Nebuchadnezzar appointed governor of Jerusalem. That would be a major error and a poor study habit. So why do people make that same mistake when studying God’s time prophecies?
We know little about Gedaliah, except Nebuchadnezzar appointed him governor in Jerusalem. The timing is critical, but that is a different subject. The only way to find out more about Gedaliah is to look ahead in scripture, and consult other books. God continues to teach us important Bible Study rules and wants us to put all of those into practice.
King Nebuchadnezzar had told Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, to find Jeremiah. “See that he isn’t hurt,” he said. “Look after him well, and give him anything he wants.” So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard; Nebushazban, a chief officer; Nergal-sharezer, the king’s adviser; and the other officers of Babylon’s king sent messengers to bring Jeremiah out of the prison. They put him under the care of Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, who took him back to his home. So Jeremiah stayed in Judah among his own people. (Jeremiah 39:11-14 NLTse)
It’s not by accident one of the key stories about Gedaliah told us how he took care of Jeremiah. Gedaliah played a key role in getting Jeremiah out of prison. That is a deep spiritual lesson. The study methods we are learning have a spiritual release on God’s prophets. Even today, people have a way of placing spiritual chains on God’s prophets. God has been teaching us a series of steps to take our study of scripture to new and exciting levels. When we share what we learn, we are taking God’s prophets out of the spiritual prison this world put them in.
We may not know much about Gedaliah, but we can look up information on his father. Who was Ahikam? Another quick search of scripture takes us to a number of stories. Here is one of the most interesting stories.
When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: “Go to the Temple and speak to the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the LORD’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do.” So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe. (2 Kings 22:11-14 NLTse).
When God’s law was found inside the temple, Ahikam was one of king Josiah’s trusted advisers who searched for an answer. The question was, what did that law mean, and what was that book telling them? I didn’t write those lessons. God wrote them in a specific order so we would find them, and unlock their spiritual meaning. Now we have a direct tie to Gedaliah, the governor of Jerusalem and God’s law, Gedaliah’s father helped find and explain. Of course that law was explained by another prophet. God keeps linking His prophets and the roles they played in those stories in ways we never imagined. If you choose to study these subjects on your own, you’ll find out how Ahikam felt when he discovered that book, and continued to be surprised as it was explained by one f God’s prophets.
What else is God showing us in this lesson? Notice how we moved forward in scripture at one point, then scripture took us back to another story. What directed us? Scripture itself. The world had nothing to do with the direction we followed. This is such a simple process to follow, how can anyone miss it? If people don’t invite God’s Spirit into the study, they have a very good chance of missing a majority of those road signs telling us when to look forward, when to look back, and where to look when we go in the right direction.