Choose Your Influence

There are some weird names in the Old Testament: Eber,
Peleg, Joktan, Hazarmaveth. . . .

But the other day, I found one that really caught my attention:
Evil-Merodach. I thought, Who would name their son Evil? So I did
some research and discovered the word “evil” in his name has
nothing to do with the English word evil. OK, that’s a relief.

His name only appears twice in the Bible. Here’s the one that
caught my attention:

“King Jehoiachin was released from prison on the twenty-
seventh day of the last month of the thirty-seventh year of his
captivity.
“This occurred during the first year of the reign of King
Evil-merodach of Babylon. He treated Jehoiachin kindly and
gave him preferential treatment over all the other kings who
were being held as prisoners in Babylon.
“Jehoiachin was given civilian clothing to replace his
prison garb, and for as long as he lived, he ate regularly at the
king’s table. The king also gave him a daily cash allowance for
the rest of his life” (2 Kings 25:27-30 The Living Bible).

Question: Why did Ecvil-merodach show such kindness to King
Jehoiachin— one of the Babylonian prisoners?
Answer: Because Evil-merodach had been influenced by
Daniel!

Years earlier, Daniel had been taken captive to Babylon from
Jerusalem. Because he lived with such commitment to God and had
a lifestyle that literally screamed integrity, he was quickly promoted to
a position of prominence in King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian
kingdom.

Evil-merodach was the son of King Nebuchadnezzar—the king
who was responsible for throwing Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
into the fire. I imagine while Evil-merodach was growing up in his
dad’s heathen palace, he closely watched Daniel’s life. He was there
when Daniel released Jehoiachin from prison. He saw how Daniel
treated others, how he prayed consistently, how he was kind and
generous to those around him.

Years later, Jehoiachin was imprisoned again. But when Evil-
merodach took the throne, he reached out to him and repeated the
kindness Daniel had demonstrated.

Though he had grown up in an ungodly palace, Evil-merodach
made the conscious decision to be influenced by the good (Daniel)
instead of evil (his father, Nebuchadnezzar). We have to choose
DAILY by whom and what we will allow to influence us!
We will not only be influenced; we’ll also be influencers. And we
never know how far our influence will spread.

Because Evil-merodach made the wise choice to allow a godly
man to influence him, his decision affected the lives of many others.
Who are what are you allowing to influence you?

Thoughts?

I’m speaking in Collinsville, Okla. this weekend. It’s only two
hours away, so I’ll be driving. Please pray for our services. I’ve held
two other revivals at this church. Wonderful place.

2 replies
  1. Marcia Greer,
    Marcia Greer, says:

    What a marvelous read! I love the history & insights that you so beautifully weave together & then make it so applicable to our lives!

    Reply

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