By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ol’ book. If you want to truly know your King, you can follow this link to read all of the current portions to date!
Previously in 2 Chronicles… At the start of the book, we saw Solomon established as King, and we saw him ask for wisdom from the Lord over any sort of material gain. The King then began fulfilling the prophecy of building the Temple, and once it was done, the glory of the Lord came down and filled the Holiest of Holies.
BEFORE READING MORE – It would be ideal if you read the chapters to be discussed prior to looking through the outline! This week we are covering 2 Chronicles 6 – 12.
2 CHRONICLES – After the death of David, 2 Chronicles begins with the powerful reign of his son, Solomon. 2 Chronicles essentially follows the history of 1 Kings and 2 Kings with a focus on the nation of Judah, which split from Israel after Solomon’s reign. This focus was no doubt because of King David who’s throne was to be established forever in Christ, the lion of Judah. For all his wisdom, Solomon clearly experienced all the vanity of the world and was eventually swayed by other gods during his lifetime. Because of his unfaithfulness, Israel was stripped from the house of David and given to Jeroboam, but the Lord allowed David’s line to rule separately over the tribe of Judah because of His promise to David and David’s faithfulness. Unfortunately, as we know, the tribe of Judah, much like the rest of Israel, had many ups and downs and slowly declined to the point of falling into captivity under the Babylonian empire, rounding out the book.
- 2 Chronicles 6-8 (1 Kings 8-9) | Solomon blessed the assembly – Solomon prays to the Lord before the altar – The sacrifice is consumed – The Lord’s glory fills the temple – The Lord came to Solomon with a warning – Solomon continued to achieve much – the affect of wayward nations on Israel are seen: After the promise was fulfilled, Solomon praised the Lord before all the people; he asked the Lord to come and dwell on earth in the Temple; he asked for the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness on the people if they stray; and he prayed for unwavering commitment to the Lord. As soon as Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The people saw all of this and had no response but “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” With that, the people dedicated the temple with countless sacrifices – 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. The people celebrated and praised the Lord for all his goodness. After a lengthy prayer and plea to the Lord, we see the Lord respond to all that Solomon had to say. The Lord appeared to Solomon for a second time – the first being in 1 Kings 3 when Solomon was granted his immense wisdom. The second time the Lord acknowledged and consecrated the temple putting His name there forever. In regards to the pleas for mercy, what the Lord had to say was simple:
“Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’
But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.” | 2 Chronicles 7:15-20
The same concept of faithfulness that governed the lives of all those who came before Solomon still held true. After such a clear “warning,” we see many of the acts of Solomon. Most importantly, we see that the nations that were spared and not “utterly destroyed” as the Lord requested were a clear influence on the Israelites and King Solomon in particular. Solomon drafted those nations as forced labor, and we read that he married the daughter of Pharaoh.
- 2 Chronicles 9 (1 Kings 9-11) | The whole world sought the audience of the great, rich, and wise Solomon – The Queen of Sheba came to lay eyes on all the wonderful things she had heard of – Solomon’s wealth – The death of Solomon: This chapter seems particularly interesting to me. Either the chapter is simply describing the wealth of blessing and wisdom bestowed upon Solomon by the Lord, or it is attempting to show an overwhelming bombardment of worldly distraction that eventually lead to Solomon’s falling away from the Lord, a blatant disregard of the Lord’s clear warning. To me, it seems like the latter is true because there is so much that Solomon indulged in. He made an ivory and fine gold throne, his goblets were gold, he had vast numbers of horses and chariots imported from foreign countries, all people from around the world sought his wisdom, even the Queen of Sheba came because she did not believe all that she had heard of the great King Solomon. When she witnessed his greatness, “there was no more breath in her.” All of this seems to be too much! I couldn’t see myself having the strength to fight off the temptation of pride and lust, but maybe Solomon did. Maybe this was just documentation of his faithfulness and the subsequent reward. However, 1 Kings 9-11 doesn’t seem to support that conjecture. As the chapter continues, we read of Solomon’s immense wealth that seemed more than imaginable, and at the end of the chapter we see Solomon’s death and Rehoboam, his son’s, rise in his stead.
- 2 Chronicles 10-12(1 Kings 12) | Rehoboam is anointed – The people turn from him – Jeroboam is made king over all tribes except for Judah – Rehoboam rises against Jeroboam but it is quenched by the Lord – The priests of Israel come to Jerusalem – Rehoboam reigned in Judah and Egypt raids Jerusalem: After Solomon’s death, Rehoboam went before all the people to be anointed king. Rehoboam unknowingly divorced himself from the people as the Lord had promised would happen. The people claimed that Solomon had made their yoke heavy with all he had the people do. Instead of listening to the elders and lightening the burden of the people, Rehoboam listened to the counsel of the young men he grew up with and promised to increase the burden on all the people. He promised to discipline them not with whips, like his father, but with scorpions! Rehoboam played right into the will of the Lord!
So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. | 2 Chronicles 10:15
Ultimately, Jeroboam was established as king over all of Israel except for the tribe of Judah, which stayed faithful to the lineage of David. Rehoboam attempted to rise up against Jeroboam and the tribes of Israel, but the Lord quickly quenched his attempt by sending word through Shemaiah that Rehoboam should not fight against his relatives. As chapter 11 rounds out, we read that the Levites and Priests from Israel were cast out by Jeroboam, so they travelled to Jerusalem to serve in Judah. We also learn a little of Rehoboam’s family. Unfortunately, Rehoboam established his rule in Judah, but their unfaithfulness caused Shishak, the king of Egypt, to rise against them.
“You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’ Then the princes of israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.” | 2 Chronicles 12:5-7
The Lord allowed Shishak to come and take the treasures from the temple, but he did not destroy the Israelites. Rehoboam continued his reign for 70 years, but it was one of evil because he didn’t seek the Lord. At the end of the chapter, we see his death, and Abijah, his son, reigned in his place.