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. So Solomon blessed the people, and he achieved much in his lifetime. Unfortunately the throne was taken from his son, Rehoboam, and given to Jeroboam. The line of David was left to rule over only the tribe of Judah. After the death of Rehoboam, his son Abijah reigned in his place. We see Abijah, then Asa, and then Jehoshaphat turn towards the Lord in many ways, and the Lord empowers them conquer their enemies. Jehoshaphat, in particular, did much during his time to serve the Lord and abolish many idols that had risen prior to the division of Israel. After Jehoshaphats death, his son Jehoram reigned and did much evil, and his son, Ahaziah, continued that evil. Fortunately there is a glimmer of hope in the young Joash who took the throne at only 7 years of age. He was led wisely by the priest Jehoiada, but Joash took a turn for the worse at Jehoiadas death. He was succeeded and avenged by his son, Amaziah, after his murder, but Amaziah led Judah astray as well and was put to death.
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 26 – 31.
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 because of 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 26 (2 Kings 14) | Uzziah reigns in Judah after Amaziah – Uzziah did much good in the eyes of the Lord – Uzziah succumbs to pride and dies of leprosy: After Amaziahs death, his son, Uzziah, was made king at only 16 years old. Uzziah was king during the time of Zechariah, and his works are detailed in the book of Isaiah. He did much good before the Lord and he defeated the enemies of the Lord. He gained much renowned because of his prowess and fortified the cities of Judah under his rule. Unfortunately:
But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. | 2 Chronicles 26: 16
The priest ran and objected and held him back proclaiming that it was not his duty or right to burn incense to the Lord but it was the duty of the appointed priests of the sons of Aaron. Uzziah objected and became angry, and in his anger he was struck with leprosy. From that day on, he suffered with leprosy until the day that he died.
- 2 Chronicles 27 (2 Kings 14) | Jotham succeeds Uzziah: After the death of his father, Jotham took the throne and reigned in Judah for 16 years. He too sought the Lord but didn’t succumb to pride as did his father. Unfortunately, the people of Judah continued to follow corrupt practices during his reign. He “became mighty because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God”!
- 2 Chronicles 28 (2 Kings 16) | Ahaz succeeds Jotham – Syria and Israel defeat Judah – Israel releases the captives – Judah is afflicted by Ahaz and his unfaithfulness – Ahaz dies: Ahaz reigned in Judah and did much evil before the Lord. He built up idols and high places and served other gods. Because of his unfaithfulness, the Lord allowed Syria and Israel to defeat Judah. These nations struck down tens of thousands of men and took many captive. The righteous of Israel refused to take their brothers and sisters captive, and they were released. However, Ahaz continued to flail around aimlessly and to no avail because he sought the help of all but the Lord:
For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made Judah act sinfully and had been very unfaithful to the Lord…In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the Lord – this same King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. | 2 Chronicles 28:19, 22-23
So in unfaithfulness and idolatry, Ahaz died, and his son, Hezekiah, succeeded him.
- 2 Chronicles 29-31 (2 Kings 18) | Hezekiah succeeds Ahaz – He immediately repaired the house of the Lord – He rallies the priests to praise and offer to the Lord and to reinstate the service (worship) – He sent out to all the people of Judah and Israel calling them to celebrate the Passover – Many come to celebrate the Passover for the first time in decades – Hezekiah and the Priests organize the work of the temple and gather the offerings of the people of Israel: The life of Hezekiah is marked by much diligence and faithfulness. One of my favorite verses in the entire Bible is found in 2 Chronicles 29:
In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. | 2 Chronicles 29:3
It’s such a great summary of a man of God springing into action to immediately! Almost as if he had no hesitation and fully trusted who the Lord was and what the Lord needed for him to do! So the priests were consecrated and tasked with entering the temple and ridding all the filth washing it down and away at the brook Kidron! After the temple was cleansed, Hezekiah and the priests worked to reinstate the sacrifices and service of the temple offering much to cleanse the nations of their sin toward the Lord. Then, pressing on, Hezekiah reached out to all his brothers and sisters in Judah, Israel, Ephraim, and Manasseh, calling them forth to come to the temple and celebrate the passover. Many laughed and scorned his messengers, but many many people came to reinstate the Passover as detailed in the Law. Their diligence and humility was a catalyst for great peace and joy, and it echoed up to heaven itself:
So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was hard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven. | 2 Chronicles 30:26-27
After all of this, Hezekiah worked with Azariah, the chief priest, to organize the work of the temple, the offerings, and the distribution required for the priests. Hezekiah commanded the people of Israel to give the portion required as per the Law, and the people brought in heaps and heaps! Azariah and the priests were blessed immensely, and the surplus was carefully stored in the temple. Many were appointed to distribute and organize the work.
Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered. | 2 Chronicles 31:20-21