Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2 Chronicles

A nation that honors God will be successful:

The book of 2 chronicles emphasizes for the returning Jewish exiles the blessings of following God. This continuation of the history of Israel from King Solomon to the exile gives little coverage to her wicked kings, while describing in great detail the lives of those kings who sought to do things God’s way. With such a focus, 2 chronicles warns the people against disobedience to God and reminds them that the nation that honors God will experience success.
We can find faithful followers of God in this lengthy account of a nation’s downward slide into corruption, idolatry and compromise. Solomon’s wise start ends in foolish disobedience (2 Ch 1-9). Yet the Queen of Sheba praises God because of his rich blessing on Solomon’s kingdom (2 Ch 9:1-12). Queen Athaliah’s idolatry holds the nation under the influence of Baal (2 Ch 22:10-23:21). Yet Jehosheba places her life on the line for six years to hide from this wicked queen the rightful heir to the throne (2Ch22:10-12). Years of idolatrous practices harden the people to god’s ways, but the prophetess Huldah bravely speaks God’s words of commendation and warning ( 2 Ch 34:22-28).
While the influence for good is present in Israel, the choice to disobey god ultimately wins out. After years of political turmoil, beloved Jerusalem falls, the temple is destroyed and the people find themselves in exile. But 2 chronicles doesn’t end on that discouraging note. The last words of the book are a reminder of Jeremiah’s prophesy of restoration and a decree from King Cyrus of Persia that any of the exiles who wish to return to Jerusalem may do so (2 Ch 36:23).

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