In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. (Dan 1:1-2. NKJ)
The fifth century Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Judah and took the king Jehoiakim captive. In the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the name is Nebuchadrezzer. One translation means ‘Nabor protects the elder son,’ the other translation means Nabor protects the mule. Thought to be a word play by opposition groups in Babylon.
The articles were taken from God’s house and taken to the ‘house of his god.’ Several of the kings of Israel had offered these treasures as a tribute or boasted in what they had. King Hezekiah was one such person, boasting to Isaiah that they were ‘his treasurers. The fact was—these vessels belong to God.
At that time Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. And Hezekiah was attentive to them and showed them all the house of his treasures– the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory– all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?” So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.” And he said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.” (2Ki 20:12-17 NKJ)
Later, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson Belshazzar thought he would take the sacred and make them secular, the vessels of honor for dishonorable use, he soon saw the writing on the wall.
Today we have allowed the world to treat the sacred with disrespect and brought the secular into the sacred space. Interpreting this as a blessing, only a few are seeing the writing on the wall.