The Bible | Part 14.6

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. Many strong kings such as Jotham and Hezekiah followed soon after Amaziah’s reign, and most notably Hezekiah did much to rebuild the temple and re-establish the law. He immediately began a good work the moment he started his reign in Judah.

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 32– 36.

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.

    1. 2 Chronicles 32 (2 Kings 18) | Sennacherib and Assyria invade Judah – Hezekiah relies on the Lord – Hezekiah and Judah are punished for his pride – Hezekiah humbles himself – Hezekiah dies: The start of the chapter makes it extremely clear that faithfulness to the Lord does not result in prosperity. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, came after Hezekiah and Judah after their acts of great faithfulness in the preceding chapters, and he sought to conquer the people for hisself. Hezekiah sprung into action and took countermeasures against the armies of Assyria gathering outside Judah, and he encouraged the people:

      “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” | 2 Chronicles 32:7-8

      And in direct contrast to Hezekiah’s devotion to the Lord,

      Sennacherib spewed vile blasphemy from his mouth proclaiming that:

      “No god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!” | 2 Chronicles 32:15

      But Hezekiah and the people stood firm and petitioned to the Lord for deliverance, and the Lord did not shorten his hand, but gave the Assyrians over to Judah. Unfortunately in this chapter we also see a glimpse of pride in Hezekiahs in his old age, but it was quickly followed with the humbling of his heart. Hezekiah was a great king that served the Lord through many good deeds, and he was buried with the sons of David and honored at his death.

    2. 2 Chronicles 33 (2 Kings 21) | Manasseh is king – He rebuilds all that his father tore down – He is captured by Assyria – He humbles himself – Amon reigns and is murdered: Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, took the throne after him at the young age of only 12 years old. Unfortunately he did much evil before the Lord. He rebuilt all that his father had faithfully torn down, and his sin led him to even burn his own sons alive! He led Judah and Jerusalem away from the Lord to the point that they did “more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel”. So the Lord gave Manasseh over to the Assyrians who captured him and bound him with hooks and chains! It was in this that he turned back to the Lord:

      And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew the Lord was God. | 2 Chronicles 33:12-13

      Then Manasseh knew the Lord was God!

      In all his sin, he was never too far gone from he saving grace of the Lord! After  Manasseh was returned to Jerusalem, he began undoing the evil he had done by removing the idols and restoring the altar of the Lord, and he proceeded with fortifying the city. After his death, his son, Amon, reigned in his place and did much sin like his father originally did, but he never humbled himself like Manasseh. After only 2 years, Amon was murdered by his own servants, and his son, Josiah, reigned in his place.

    3. 2 Chronicles 34-35 (2 Kings 22-23) | Josiah succeeds Amon – Josiah purges Judah – Hilkiah finds the Book of the Law – Huldah prophecies the destruction of Judah – Josiah is blessed for his faithfulness – the people make a covenant to serve the Lord – The Passover was kept – Josiah dies from battle wounds: After the death of Amon, Josiah reigned in his place at the age of only 8! He did “what was right in the eyes of the Lord..
      “He did not turn aside to the right hand or the left.”

      At 16 he started to seek the Lord God, and at 20 he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of all the idols and false altars. At 26, Josiah tasked many to repair the house of the Lord in full, and in the process of the repairs, Hilkiah found the long lost Book of the Law. He gave it to Shaphan, the kings secretary, who took it to the king telling Josiah:

      “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book”

      And when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes…..”Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book.” | 2 Chronicles 34:19,21

      Their inquiry led to Huldah, the prophetess, who proclaimed the impending justice meant for the people of Judah because they turned away from the Lord. But because of Josiah’s faithfulness and humility, the Lord promised that he would not see the disaster that was to come.After hearing all this, Josiah gathered all the people, and

      he made a covenant to walk after the Lord with all his heart and all his soul!

      He removed all the “abominations” and made the people follow the Lord as he has committed to do himself. After this work, Josiah led the people to keep the Passover as outlined by the Law. Judah came together with a great number of sacrifices and a great amount of discipline in their celebration of the Passover, and it was noted that there was none like it since the days of Samuel! After all this, Josiah dies from battle wounds as Judah rose up against Neco, king of Egypt. Neco was headed to war passing through Judah, but Josiah would not allow it. Surprisingly, it seems that the Egyptian king was ordained by God to proceed into battle. He sent messengers to Judah:

      “I am not  coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you.” Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him…| 2 Chronicles 35:21-22

      So Josiah went into battle and was mortally wounded.

      He was returned to Jerusalem, but died of his wounds soon after. The people mourned greatly for their awesome king.

    4. 2 Chronicles 36 (2 Kings 23-24) | Jehoahaz succeeds Josiah – Egypt deposed Jehoahaz – Eliakim (Jehoiakim) was made king – Jehoiachin became king – Zedekiah became king – Jerusalem is captured by Babylon – Jerusalem is freed by Cyrus, king of Persia: After Josiah’s reign, we read of the swift downfall of Judah. Jehoahaz was captured by the Egyptians, and Egypt placed Jehoiakim in his place. Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah all did evil before the Lord and were given over to Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. They completely refused to seek the Lord despite his faithfulness towards them in the midst of their evil:

      The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy. | 2 Chronicles 36:15-16

      They mocked and despised God until there was no remedy!

      So the Lord gave them over to be exiled in Babylon for 70 years. The Chaldeans conquered them and killed many taking the rest captive. Judah remained captive in Babylon until the nation was conquered by Cyrus, the king of Persia. Then Cyrus, stirred by the Lord, freed the Lord’s people from captivity.

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