Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the leading men of the land. The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand craftsmen and artisans. He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah. 2 Kings 24:15-17
Nebuchadnezzar was a shrewd leader. Instead of installing his own people as leaders in Jerusalem, he instead chose a relative of the reigning king. The people would know who he was and would obey. Many probably even knew that Zedekiah’s was a “puppet” government, yet they still trusted him to do the right thing for the people. Otherwise, it would have been difficult for foreign leaders to rule the land because of the underlying resentment.
Not much has changed over the years. Large, powerful countries and their leaders have a way to control other smaller nations. The most prominent example of that in our time was the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic or USSR. The USSR had a union of 15 states or countries. They also had other nations such as Cuba and Mongolian that they also controlled. The leaders in Moscow called the shots in all of these countries. Period. They seemed to have absolute authority over remote regions of the world. We see it to a lesser degree in other countries today.
It’s been twenty years since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Continue to pray for the church in Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Latvia, Belorus, Moldova, Georgia, Estonia, Armenia, Kyrghzstan, and Lithuania. If you know nothing about these lands, choose one and research it. There’s plenty of information on the internet about all of those nations. Pray that Christians will be bold in sharing their faith.