2 CHRONICLES OVERVIEW
Today we begin a new book!! HOT DOG…another one to add to our repertoire!!
Remember that the Chronicles were originally one book just like the Samuels, and the Kings but were separated during translations most likely for easier reading.
The Chronicles were thought to be written by Ezra, according to Jewish Tradition. The Chronicles were written AFTER the exile from the Babylonians and told from a priestly perspective. The importance of the temple and the religious revivals in Judah are highlighted in 2 Chronicles. Interestingly the Northern Kingdom, Israel, is virtually ignored in this history, not only for their actions to separate; but also because Jesus will come from the tribe of Judah and Judah (and Benjamin) remained in the Southern Kingdom.
By the grace and mercy of God I pray I am able to provide you with maps as we continue to read of the divisions. Seeing these maps will further help all of us understand why there is still so much conflict in the Middle East today (at least that is what they help me comprehend.)
Although Chronicles was written in approximately 430 BC (after all the events written in Chronicles had happened) keep in mind that as we begin 2 Chronicles the date is approximately 970 BC and we will end the book in approximately 586 BC…400 years. In 586 BC, the Babylonians will COMPLETELY DESTROY the Temple built by Solomon and laid out by David. Ezra, is telling the story after a new Temple is built in Jerusalem after the exiles are free to return and/or rebuild Jerusalem. There will be a WHOLE lotta fighting after Solomon’s death.
2 Chronicles parallels 1&2 Kings and serves as their commentary. It continues the history of 1 Chronicles (which was about David). 2 Chronicles is about David’s son, Solomon, being inaugurated as king. Solomon will build the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem, thus fulfilling his father’s wishes. We will be witnesses of Solomon enjoying a peaceful and prosperous 40 year reign because of his wisdom and following God’s ways in leading Israel. His wisdom and his reign made him world famous. After Solomon’s reign we will also witness the further deterioration and destruction of Israel as a nation.
The kings in Judah, following Solomon, who were good kings OBEYED God’s laws, eliminated idol worship, and made no alliances with other nations. Judah’s good kings will include Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah (Azariah), Hezekiah, and Josiah. Of its MANY evil ones — Ahaz and Manasseh were possibly the worst. The leaders set the tone for the nation to follow. The bad ones really open the door WIDE leading the way for the Israelites to be mistreated, turn to idols, and completely pull away from the ONE TRUE GOD. This shows us how vital it is for reigning leaders (then and now) to believe in the ONE TRUE GOD and JESUS CHRIST. The CHOICES of these leaders will lead to the total destruction of once unified Nation of Israel….SAD. If OUR current leaders’ responses to God are nonexistent or self-serving….they set the tone how OUR entire (or HUGE percentage of it) nation will live. We become desensitized to what is right and wrong. We become confused on the truth because we become careless in our dedication and faithfulness to reading the Word…and we easily accept laws being passed that are now legal, seem “right to a man;” but they are totally against God’s Word. The leaders not only impact the moral compass of the “sheep they serve” but they can also make an ENTIRE nation (that followed along quietly) live by the CONSEQUENCES of their CHOICES as leaders….and the history of the nation of Israel and Judah is PROOF of this….an example for us today….encouragement for us to PRAY for our leaders in all areas for God’s mighty hand to lead the way. If our leaders are not doing the right things…PRAY for them…if you feel lead to write and diplomatically express your opinions do so….don’t gossip, spit, disrespect, grumble, complain. If that is a burden on your heart…take ACTION that is appropriate, diplomatic, and PRAY for wisdom for the words to use. ON a personal level (not talking about helping others in need) YOU are responsible for YOUR actions and thoughts and that is ALL you can control. And often the ONLY things we can REALLY control are our thoughts and attitudes through God’s grace and mercy. BUT the more we know God, HIS character, HIS ways, WHO HE is, and WHO lives in us…through HIS Word, then the more we can be transformed to HIS ways rather than conformed to this world (Romans 12:1-2.) Words from a famous nonchristian song but very applicable are “Don’t stop believing.” So DON’T STOP BELIEVING IN GOD, IN ALL HIS PROMISES, IN THE JOY THAT SIMPLY COMES FROM HIM…..and HANG on with HIS Words on your lips. BUT… we have to first KNOW the Words to put them in ACTION….so read on my faithful readers of GOD’s Word….read on.
The verse this chapter is sooooo famous for is: 17:14 — “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive them their sin and will heal their land.” In 1 John 1:9– “But if we confess our sins to HIM, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” NOW THAT IS PEACE BABY!! PURE PEACE that passes (over and over again) understanding!!
Sharing HIS love,