Uplook Fridays:2 Chronicles

From the joyful worship that accompanied the dedication of Solomon’s temple to
the disastrous division of the tribes that resulted from Rehoboam’s foolish
pride; from the establishment of the unified dynasty of David’s son to the
depths of immorality that accompanied the reigns of most kings from Rehoboam to
Zedekiah; from the awe-inspiring revelation of the God of glory to the absolute
destruction of Solomon’s glorious temple by Nebuchadnezzar — 2 Chronicles is the
objective, unflinching record of a people who forsook obedience to the Lord and
fell from the golden days of Solomon’s rule to the bitter ashes of captivity in
Babylon, and this in less than 400 years.

The keynote phrase of the book is
found in a charge that Azariah the prophet made to Asa the king in {{2 Chronicles
15:2}}. He said, “The Lord is with you, while
ye are with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found by you; but if ye forsake
Him, He will forsake you.
” During the days
of Solomon, the nation of Israel was given a taste of what God would do for them
if they were obedient to Him. The glories and power of Israel have never been
greater than at that time. But their faithfulness proved fickle and they forsook
those blessings for the filth and foolishness of idolatry. Finally God gave them
what they wanted. They were carried away into the heart of the world’s idolatry
and sin — Babylon, and the last reminder of the glorious days of faithfulness to
God were shattered by the marauding armies of Nebuchadnezzar. Israel had
returned to the land which had been ancient Chaldea from which Abraham had been
called from idolatry in the first place.

Central to 2 Chronicles is the
temple. The first nine chapters of the book are given over to a description of
its marvelous construction and glorious dedication. The temple symbolized God’s
presence with His people. It was given to them to be a focal point for their
worship and service to God. They were blessed far above all peoples on the earth
to have God dwell among them. No other nation had such a privilege. And yet they
departed from this place of blessing. The temple instead became the focal point
of their backsliding and sin. Conversely, any revival also centered on the
temple too. We must pay close attention to the children of Israel and their
relationship to the temple, and the Lord who dwelt therein. Interestingly,
Solomon’s failures are not mentioned in 2 Chronicles. The emphasis here is on
his accomplishments in providing a house for God among His people. The Spirit of
God wishes us to see the blessed situation into which God had placed His
people.

From the lofty heights of Solomon’s day, Israel’s history is only
down, down, down. Twenty kings followed Solomon, and their immorality grew worse
and worse. They either defiled the temple or departed from it and simply ignored
it.

During the times of these kings, there were five significant periods of
revival. They are well worth noting. The first revival came under Asa (ch.14).
His revival focused on the removal of the idols from the land. Unfortunately his
reforms soon faded. The next revival came under Jehoshaphat (ch.17). His revival
was based upon a return to the Word of God. But again, further apostasy ensued
following his reign. Joash (chs. 23, 24), the next king to bring about a major
revival, focused on the repair of the temple. But again the Israelites soon
continued their backsliding. A fourth great revival occurred under Hezekiah
(chs. 29, 30, 31). His reforms were based upon a re-establishment of the temple
feasts and services.

But sadly the sin of the Israelites continued unabated. A
final system of reforms came under Josiah. He incorporated aspects of all the
four previous revivals. But it was too late. God’s wrath was fully kindled.
Nebuchadnezzar and his armies came and obliterated the city of Jerusalem and,
most significantly, the temple. From the glories described at the beginning of 2
Chronicles, the Israelites were brought to the dust.

However, the God of hope
does not close this sorrowful saga on such a note. The book ends with a
reference to Cyrus and his decree to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. Although
His people are often unfaithful, yet our God remains faithful. May we learn the
lessons that 2 Chronicles would teach us.


Used by Permission. This
material is protected by copyright. ©
2005 Uplook Ministries.

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