2 Chronicles Survey
Pr Edi Giudetti
Riches To Ruin To…?
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? 7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? 8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, 9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. (2 Chron 20:5-9)
I have used this passage as somewhat of a summary of the book because it anticipates that which is to come but also tells us of the nature of the Lord our God, it tells us that no matter the situation we endure, he is in control.
It also speaks of his governing not only of our own lives but also that of the nations, it is he that “rulest over all the kingdoms of the heathen” and certainly true “that none is able to withstand him”.
But it also speaks to his grace, that in the affliction of his people that he will indeed “Hear and Help”.
The account given in 2 Chronicles is that of Judah only, many of the accounts where also given to us in the books of the Kings, but Chronicles deals only with Judah and not Israels history. The northern kingdoms historical account was given to us in the books of the Kings.
Chronicles deals with not so much with the historical affairs, but more the spiritual nature of Judah and how that has particularly affected their history. You will see the link between their turning away from the Lord and its outcome historically, just as much as their turning to the Lord and its outcome historically.
No book in the Bible demonstrates the practical clarity of this more than 2 Chronicles.
The Anticipation of Righteousness (Solomon)
The first nine chapters of this book have King Solomon as its focus, Solomon the son of David the King, the son of Bathsheba, he it is that sits on the throne of David at this time in the city of Jerusalem.
The account takes up for us no less than one quarter of the book; one quarter of 2 Chronicles has one king in its focus, his wisdom, his wealth and all that he did for the Lord and for the people of the nation of Israel.
There will be no less than 19 kings that will follow on from King Solomon, these nineteen kings will see the culmination of the kingdom, as they are taken in the final days into Babylon for their transgressions against the Lord.
But Solomon’s reign was one of true glory;
Peace and prosperity dominated the land. The people could now, at this time, rejoice in the comfort the Lord had given them to abide in.
Listen to some of the words of the King as he raises up his voice to the Lord of glory;
I would ask that you might be patient with me as I recount to you the words of Solomon, for its sets the stage of all that is to come and a recognistion of that righteousness that is so wonderfully expected by the children of Israel during the reign of this King of PEACE.
The temple is now completed, the items to furnish the Temple are set in their places and Solomon dedicates the house of the Lord to the Lord
14 And (he) said, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts: 15 Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. 16 Now therefore, O Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. 17 Now then, O Lord God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.
18 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! 19 Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: 20 That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. 21 Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.
22 If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; 23 Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.
24 And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; 25 Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers.
26 When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; 27 Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.
28 If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: 29 Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: 30 Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) 31 That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.
32 Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; 33 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.
34 If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; 35 Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 36 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near; 37 Yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; 38 If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: 39 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.
40 Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 41 Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. 42 O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.
And we see the Lord accepting the prayer and the dedication of his house, fire came down from heaven and consumed the offering and the sacrifices.
HE WILL HEAR, HE WILL HEARKEN to their voice when they turn to him with their hearts.
We can see then, as we look at this passage, that the people would greatly anticipate a high time of righteousness sweeping the land with such a King as would earnestly seek after the Lord in this way. We can see GOOD for them to come and if the story stopped here we would be confident that their near future would indeed be blessed.
Certain also their wealth was great;
2 Chronicles 1:15 tells us that Solomon “made silver and Gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones”, what marvel that is when we think of Heaven where the street of the city is paved with Gold, pure Gold as it were transparent glass (Rev 21:21).
We can see the excitement of the people with a king whose reputation was found in a great land to the south, who’s queen heard of the wisdom of this great king, and she discovered him to be more wise than any she had ever known, so amazed was she of him that the Bible tells us there was no more spirit left in her (9:4).
Brethren this same GREAT anticipation is ours when we first came to the Lord, we have been emancipated from our enslavement to sin, no more will sin have dominion over us, we had fought the fight of faith and faith won for us victory in a new king, a King of Righteousness, a King of Peace.
We have rest now and that rest is found in Jesus Christ. He is our peace, he is our righteousness, he gave himself as an offering for sin and the God of heaven accepted it.
We cried to the Lord and he heard from heaven, from his dwelling place and his glory came to a tabernacle not made with hands as he made his residence within us.
No Jesus is not Solomon, but lest we make light of the type consider the danger we would be in if we rejected so great a salvation;
Jesus own words warn as he reminds us that
“The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” (Matt 12:42)
Jesus is here, the picture of anticipation given to us in the first nine chapters is one we can claim even today, and even now in troubled times we can know the peace of God through Jesus Christ, but most importantly that he hears from heaven.
The Repercussion of Rebellion. (Rehoboam)
But in the account of Israel this peace lasted only a generation, in the tenth chapter we see the tragic consequences.
Young Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, the recipient of the Proverbs written by his father which we have in our Bibles today, which he no doubt read, for they were indeed addressed to him, Rehoboam turns away from the counsel of the Lord.
Rehoboam stood in the congregation of the people of his nation. This would be the last time a King would preside over all twelve of the tribes of Israel, the event is significant and repercussion is permanent.
Turn with me to 2 Chronicles 10 as we witness firsthand what had occurred.
Verse 31 of chapter nine tells us that now Solomon is dead and his Son Rehoboam reigns in his place;
10 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king. 2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying, 4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee. 5 And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed. 6 And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people? 7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever. 8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him. 9 And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us? 10 And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it somewhat lighter for us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. 11 For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day. 13 And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, 14 And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15 So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the Lord might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying,
What portion have we in David?
And we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse:
Every man to your tents, O Israel:
And now, David, see to thine own house.
So all Israel went to their tents. 17 But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram that was over the tribute; and the children of Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19 And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
Many are the lessons that we can learn from this passage, but as it now sets up the balance of the book of 2 Chronicles I will make only one claim;
THERE ARE REPERCUSSIONS TO REBELLION.
This was not a good outcome from Israel, for they were to unite behind one king who was to follow the Lord his God.
But as this King did not follow the Lord, rebellion caused the division and the division separated the people.
God had determined this from the time of the rebellion of Solomon, who’s heart was taken by the many wives he had given himself to turn away from the Lord and serve Idols. This was determined from Solomon and realised in Rehoboam.
Each one of us have a responsibility to follow the Lord with all our hearts;
Each of us are commanded to be faithful to the LORD, each of us are responsible independently of those who we might charge “forced our hand”.
Rehoboam did not seek the Lord so there was nothing for the Lord to hearken to,
Ruin was immanent without repentance!
The Transience of Reformation (Hezekiah & Josiah)
Well we move on as we see the reigns of numerous Kings, some that followed the Lord and some that rebelled against God.
We move through ten kings in History until we come to two kings who stand out from the rest, and there is a reason why both of these kings stand out.
This point is called The Transience of Reformation;
The title gives us and understanding that a Reformation is at hand, but it also indicates to us that it is not permanent but transient, a temporary course through which another change comes.
Israel had been taken away by the Assyrian Kingdom some fifteen years earlier during the Reign of the wicked King Ahaz who reigned in Judah with Hoshea, the King of Israel, when they were taken.
Hezekiah began to reign after the death of his wicked father and wrought one of the greatest changes in Judah’s history.
The first thing he did was open the doors of the temple, which his father had closed, so the people can again worship the Lord as was commanded.
He reinstated the priesthood, sanctified them for the work, they cleansed the temple and set themselves again to serve the Lord.
Then we have Josiah, he was the great grandson of Hezekiah and he too reformed the people that they may dedicate themselves to the things of the Lord.
Josiah was himself the only King prophesied by name from the very beginning of the rebellion of the ten tribes of Israel against Rehoboam;
You will find his prophetic account in 1 Kings 13
13 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.
This prophecy was given some 300 years before the birth of Josiah.
Then we see in 2 Kings 23:15 that Josiah did exactly that which the man of God spoke of.
16And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
Then Josiah sees the tomb of that same prophet and asks
17 …. What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Beth-el.
These two men, Hezekiah and Josiah took Judah through a blessed reformation which lasted throughout their respective reigns, but both reformations were temporary.
Israel was blessed with good government and cursed with bad government and the same is true today for us.
Throughout the account we have of Judah we know that God is perfectly in control. When men do that which is right and good, good follows, when men do wrong, evil follows.
Moses preached and pleaded that the people would obey the Lord and be blessed, he set before them life and death, blessing and cursing and encouraged them to live and be blessed.
Stop following after things that do not profit you, stop rebelling against the Lord, follow him and give up your sin and be blessed and live.
The reformation of Hezekiah and Josiah are examples that God listens to those that repent and seek after him and turns away from those who turn from him. The reformation of your heart does not need to be transient,
Turn back, turn back, turn back, be ruled by him and not by yourself.
If you are saved by Christ, live for him.
If you are not saved then know that your unwillingness to humble yourself each time you hear the words of the Lord, each time you hear and not respond runs a risk of hardening yourself to his words.
Should your life end suddenly in that state, you will face a judgement and an end that is beyond any nightmare you have imagined.
God gives you life, he offers it plainly, be reformed by him and live to life eternal.
You must understand, Ruin is immanent without repentance!
The Realisation Of Ruin (Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Jeconiah), Zedekiah)
The leadership of Judah concludes with the reigns of four of the most wicked Kings in its history.
Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Jeconiah), Zedekiah
Jehoahas had the shortest reign of the four, he ruled only three months. He was the younger brother of Jehoiakim and seemed to have come to the throne in a manner other than that which is ordained as he was not the firstborn of Josiah his father.
Jehoahaz might be a throne name for the King, as he is also known as Shallum by Jeremiah 22:11.
Jehoiakim is the vassal King put in place by the King of Egypt who killed both his father and brother. This is that King that cut up and burnt the word of God given to him by Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 36 during his reign. He it was that denied the prophecy of a Babylonian King taking the land.
Yet in his time, he personally was bound by Nebucudnessor to be taken to Babylon. The passage does not say if he ever got there, Jeremiah foretold that “… his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. (Jer 36:30)
It is interesting to note that neither Jehoahaz nor Jehoiakim are remembered in the genealogy of our Lord in Matthew 1, their names were stricken from the record just as God stated; Just as Jehoahaz removed the words of God in the fire, so too did the Lord remove his name from the book of life.
Jehoachin (AKA Jekoniah / Coniah) and Zedekiah are the last two wicked Kings who rebelled against the Babylonian King.
Coniah was the son of Jehoiakim while Zedekiah was the brother of Jehoiakim.
God was particularly grieved with both these men, but unto Coniah he pronounced a blood curse on the line of men from Coniah, that none shall sit on the throne from that line.
Turn to Jeremiah 22:28-30
28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? 29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. 30 Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah”
And indeed none did. This will be an important point to consider in a future date when we look at the genealogy of our Lord and his right to rule and sit on David’s throne, with THIS man as his ancestor!
There we now have the ruin of Judah realized. Repentance not found in the Last king, Ruin then Realized.
We often run the risk of thinking to ourselves that there will not be a consequence to suffer for error done.
The world does not think that there are consequences to rejecting the truth of God here and now, let alone for eternity.
We think that because we enjoy the temporary things that comes from sin, that it will extend into the future without consequence.
But consider the world today my friends, consider the evil turns that the world is in and think of what they have rejected and what they are now embracing, and consider if it is good or bad.
Ruin is still immanent without repentance!
In Hope of the Until (2 Chron 36:20-23)
But allow me to finish the sermon in hope, unlike the 2nd book of Kings, 2nd Chronicles gives us just a hint that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
Turn to 2 Chron 36:19-23
19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. 20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 21 To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.
The sermon was titled Riches to Ruin to…?
We know the story of Judah does not end at its captivity, it does not end at its ruin, it does not end there.
These are the children of God and he has demonstrated his control over every situation in their history, even telling them the length of their captivity as Spoken before by the mouth of Jeremiah.
God has Israel in his own hands and nothing will alter his plans, nothing with slow his timeline and nothing will hasten it, what the Lord has determined to pass will come to pass but know this of a certainty; Israel belongs to God and his plan for them is not evil at its end but good.
Today there are many Christian children who have grown up in Christian homes, they began in riches but many have abandoned the faith of their fathers and turned to the world.
The wealth of God they have exchanged for the refuse of the world, they have gone from Riches to Ruin.
But if any of these were saved, if they were certainly born again then they are indeed children of God and though they will go through many trials, it is he who has them in his hand and will lead them back.
Through they have gone from Riches to Ruin, their story also does not end there, they belong to God and his plan for them is not evil at its end but good.
REPENTANCE WILL BE THEIR RESTORATION!