2 Chronicles – Chapter 19

2 Chronicles chapter 19

Verses 1-3 – Jehoshaphat returned safely to Jerusalem. Just as his father, Asa, had been greeted by the prophet Hanani, now Jehu son of Hanani scolded Jehoshaphat. But because Jehoshaphat was a good king who had gone further than any other in purging the land of idolatry, he would not have to face a serious judgment as his father did.

Verse 4 – Another difference between Asa and Jehoshaphat, is that Jehoshaphat did not turn against the prophet who had declared God’s anger to him.

Verses 5-7 – In appointing regional judges, Jehoshaphat reminded them of two things; God would be watching and God was the model for impartiality.

Verses 8-11 – Some of these judges were Levites and priests and were accountable only to the Lord. Their supervisor was not the king but Amariah, the high priest. They would serve as an appeals court for the regional judges. Zebadiah, the ruler of the house of Judah along with the Levites, was to be the final authority in cases that involved the king himself.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 18

2 Chronicles chapter 18

Jehoshaphat’s Alliance with Ahab

Although Jehoshaphat was committed to God, he arranged his son to marry the daughter of the wicked king, Ahab, of Israel. Ahab had made Baal worship the state religion of the northern kingdom, Israel. Jehoshaphat formed an alliance with Ahab whose wife was the evil Jezebel.

When believers in leadership positions become allied with unbelievers, values are compromised and spiritual awareness is dulled. Whomever you aline yourself with, will influence you.

Verses 2-8 – Evil kings did not like God’s prophets bringing messages of doom. Therefore, they hired prophets who told them what they wanted to hear. At Ahab’s initiative, Jehoshaphat agreed to combine their armies to fight the Arameans. It seems as an afterthought, Jehoshaphat asked that they consult the Lord whether this was His will. Jehoshaphat asked if there were any Yahweh prophets. When God gave His answer through Micaiah, Jehoshaphat ignored it. It does no good to ask God’s advice if we’re going to ignore it when He gives an answer.

verses 12, 13 – The court messenger wanted to avoid controversy, so he told Micaiah to go along with the crowd.

Verses 14, 15 – There may have been a sarcastic tone in Micaiah’s first statement, because Ahab detected it was not the truth.

Verses 16, 17 – Micaiah begins to tell what God had showed him. Israel was scattered like sheep without a shepherd all along the hills and Ahab would be killed in battle.

Verses 18-24 – Micaiah states that Ahab’s prophets were the instruments of a spirit sent by God with the specific intention of leading Ahab into destruction with a lie.

Verse 29 – Ahab, knowing that the Arameans wanted to kill him, made it look like Jehoshaphat was the only king on the battlefield.

Verse 31 – Jehoshaphat’s troubles began when he joined forces with the evil king Ahab. At once he found himself the target for soldiers who mistakenly identified him as Ahab. Jehoshaphat cried out to God and God saved him. No matter how great the sin you can still call upon God to deliver you.

Verses 33, 34 – One lone Aramean archer shot a random arrow. The arrow not only hit Ahab but penetrated through the joints of his armor, something even the best archer was unlikely to achieve on purpose. When Ahab died at sunset Micaiah had been vindicated as the true prophet of Yahweh.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 17

2 Chronicles chapter 17

Verses 1-6 – Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah and was thoroughly devoted to God. (Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Devotion to God, leads to victory in life–devotion to self leads to destruction.) Jehoshaphat was one of the outstanding kings of Judah. Since his father, Asa had lost his grip on the kingdom in his latter years, Jehoshaphat had to purge the land of high places and Asherah poles.

Verses 7–9 – Jehoshaphat realized that the people of Judah were illiterate, to the point of not knowing God’s laws. So, he initiated a nationwide religious education program. Because of his action, the nation began to follow God. He sent the Levites out and they carried copies of the law and instructed everyone in Judah how to live as God’s people.

Verses 10, 11 – The Lord rewarded Jehoshaphat’s single-minded commitment by causing the neighboring kingdoms to fear Judah; some even brought tribute.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 16

2 Chronicles chapter 16

Asa’s Last Years

Verse 1 – It was the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign. Baasha, had replaced Jeroboam’s son, Nadab, and was king of the northern kingdom, Israel. Baasha, decided to reinforce the town of Ramah, which would block access to Jerusalem. He had made an alliance with Ben-hadad, King of Aram in Damascus. Once Asa was cut off from the outside world, it would be easy to capture Jerusalem.

Verses 2-6 – When Asa realized what Baasha was trying to do, Asa emptied the treasures of the temple and bribed Ben-hadad. Asa did not inquire of the Lord. Ben-hadad not only complied willingly, but sent his soldiers into Israel to compensate themselves for the booty they missed by not attacking Jerusalem.

Verses 7-10 – Asa made a serious misjudgment in thinking the Lord would be pleased if he did God’s work for him. Rather than getting praise for being so clever, God sent Hanani, His prophet to rebuke Asa. God wanted Asa to be dependent on Him, not his own cleverness or help from pagans. Asa’s ego was bruised. Instead of repenting, he threw the prophet in prison and started abusing his own people. Why is it when people are corrected by God, they get angry and take it out on the messenger and those around them? It is not a sin to use human means to solve our problems, but it is a sin to trust them more than God, thinking we know better.

Verses 11, 12 – In these verses, we see that when a disease came in Asa’s feet, he sought a physician, again instead of asking God for help. He was still rebellious. He totally ignored God. The medicine practice at this time was a mixture of superstition and folk remedies. His sin was not turning to a physician for help, but in failing to ask God how he should proceed and relying on God for the outcome.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 15

2 Chronicles chapter 15

Verses 1, 2 – Azariah was the son of Oded and is one of the prophets who make a brief appearance in the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles. Azariah gave a warning and encouragement for them to stay close to God. We as believers should stay in close contact with people who are filled with God’s Spirit and we will receive Godly counsel.

Verse 3 – Azariah said that the northern kingdom Israel, was without the One True God. Eight kings reigned in Israel during the 41 year reign of Asa in Judah, and all eight were evil. Azariah used Israel’s problems as an example of the evil that would come to Judah if they turned away from God.

Verse 8 – Evidently, Asa had not completely removed all the idols. After Azariah spoke, Asa became more aggressive in his purge of idolatry.

Verses 12-15 – Everyone took an oath of allegiance to the Lord and they did so joyfully and voluntarily. The Lord rewarded their zeal and genuine repentance with rest. God reserves the right to ignore insincere repentance (Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 1:28-31;21:27; Jeremiah 11:11).

Verse 16 – One of the important acts of Asa was to remove Maacah, his grandmother, because she was a supporter of idol worship.

Verse 17 – This verse illustrates the difference between high places that were pagan sites and those that were dedicated to worshiping Yahweh.

Verse 19 – For a very long time Asa did all the right things and the kingdom had peace with God.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 14

2 Chronicles chapter 14

Asa, The Good King

Asa was the third King of Judah; son of Abijah; devoted to God, but closed himself off from God at the end of his life.

Verses 1-5 – Asa’s reign was marked by peace because he did what was “good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” His obedience lead to peace with God and others. Obedience may not always bring peace with our enemies, but it will bring peace with God.

Frequently, sites for idolatry are called “high places,” but the expression is also used for places dedicated to Yahweh, the true God. Asherah poles were dedicated to the Canaanite goddess Asherah. The Canaanites believed she was the wife of El and the mother of their main god Baal.

Verses 6, 7 – “Rest on every side” means that Judah had peace with all her neighbors. King Asa recognized the period of peace as the right time to build his defenses-the moment of attack would be too late. As Christians we shouldn’t wait for an attack from the enemy to prepare for battle. We have to stay rooted and grounded in God’s word in order to be prepared before anything evil comes our way.

Verse 11 – The secret of victory is first to admit our human effort is futile. Then ask God and trust Him for the deliverance. His power works best through those who recognize their limitations (2 Corinthians 12:9). Once again, it was the Lord who won the battle.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 13

2 Chronicles chapter 13

Abijah Becomes King

The writer of Chronicles only chose to highlight the good that Abijah did in order to show that he was still under God’s covenant promise to David. But go back and read 1 Kings 15:3 where it says Abijah committed many sins.

Verses 1-3 – Abijah was the second king of Judah. Jeroboam was still ruler over the northern kingdom. Despite all the shortcomings of many of the kings of Judah, the line of David continued on the throne until the exile. In contrast, the northern kingdom saw no dynasty longer than five kings and in many cases there were no succession at all.

Verse 5 – A covenant of salt refers to a binding promise that cannot be broken (Numbers 18:19).

Verse 8 – Jeroboam’s army was cursed because of the golden calves the army carried with them. It was as though they put their sin into a physical form so they could haul it around with the. We are to let go of anything that interferes with our relationship with God.

Verse 9 – Abijah criticized Jeroboam’s low standard in appointing priests. Anyone can be qualified to represent a god that is worthless. According to 2 Timothy 3, those appointed to positions of responsibility should not be selected merely because they volunteer, are influential, or are highly educated. Instead they should demonstrate sound doctrine; their dedication to the Lord; and have strong spiritual character.

Verses 13-18 – While Abijah was attempting to persuade the northern army to abandon the fight, his enemies sent soldiers into the rear of his army to close the trap. The army of Judah cried out to God, fought with desperation, and God took it from there. The Chronicler makes it clear that it was the Lord who was responsible for the victory.

Verses 19-21 – Abijah and his army captured the town of Bethal, the southern sanctuary for Jeroboam’s golden calves. For Jeroboam, this was the beginning of the end. God judged him severely, and afterwards he died. His son Nadab was assassinated after only two years on the throne (1 Kings 13-14; 15:25-28).

2 Chronicles – Chapter 12

2 Chronicles chapter 12

Judah Becomes Weak

Verses 1, 2 – Here “Israel” refers to Judah, the southern kingdom. During Rehoboam’s first three years on the throne, he attempted to obey God and Judah prospered. But, popularity and power became greater and he abandon God after that. Then God allowed Judah to be conquered by Egypt. So often when things are going good in life, people forget who they are and who was the real source of their prosperity. In the tough times, we are moved towards God, but in the good times we become self-sufficient and self-satisfied. When things are going right, guard your faith closely.

A record of this invasion has been found on an Egyptian stone that says Shishak’s army penetrated as far north as the Sea of Galilee. They were not strong enough to conquer both Israel and Judah, but managed to destroy key cities in Judah in an effort to gain control of the trade routes and create dissension among the people.

Verse 4 – In spite of all the work Solomon and Rehoboam had put into fortifying the cities of Judah, these efforts didn’t keep away the pharaoh whom God had sent as punishment for the sins of the kingdom.

Verses 6-8 – God showed mercy when Israel’s leaders repented and humbled themselves. When we start to leave God out of our lives, we lose more spiritually than we ever gain financially.

Verse 9 – Shishak’s army arrived in Jerusalem and helped themselves to all the treasures that David and Solomon had collected. Shishak did not destroy Jerusalem. This unusual action fits with Shishak’s own records of this military excursion. He listed in an inscription 41 cities that he captured and decimated, but Jerusalem was not among them.

Verses 10,11 – This is another humiliation for Rehoboam when he had to replace the golden shields with bronze ones. When God is no longer center in our lives, maintaining the Christian life becomes superficial.

Verses 13, 14 – Despite Rehoboam’s repentance and God’s rescue, Chronicles still listed him “an evil king.” Why? Because he had not “set his heart on seeking the Lord.” God asks us for a firm commitment, and unless we respond by trusting Him completely, we will find only frustrations and self effort in our lives.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 11

2 chronicles chapter 11

Judah is Strengthened

Verse 1 – Rehoboam had made a foolish decision by causing the division of Israel, but now tried to take it back by force. True unity, however, cannot come about by force. It must be the free response of willing hearts.

Verses 2-4 – Shemaiah, God’s prophet, showed up and told Rehoboam that he would not go up against his brothers!

God had foretold of this division, as punishment, but the higher purpose was being exposed. By Judah being pressured, David’s line would keep intact His plan for the Messiah to be a descendant of David. God always wants unity, but when division comes, look for a higher purpose that God has ordained. Rehoboam and all the people followed the advise of Shemaiah and went home to their houses.

Verses 5-12 – Instead of carrying out an invasion Rehoboam fortified cities throughout the territory of Judah and Benjamin. He needed to reestablish a smaller circle around Jerusalem. Cities that had not been that important, such as Bethlehem, now became crucial defensive posts. Not only did he see to it that they were physically reinforced, but each had leaders, a supply of food, oil, and wine, and large shields and spears. Having started off on the wrong foot, he made sure his kingdom did not become vulnerable to attack.

Verses 13, 14 – After the split, Jeroboam, the new king of Israel, saw these priests and Levites as threats to his new government because they remained loyal to Jerusalem, now the capital of Judah. So he appointed his own priest (a no-no with God). He banned the Levites from their duties and forced them to move to the southern Kingdom. Jeroboam’s pagan priests encouraged idol worship. They were seriously abandoning God. We have to watch who we follow. They might just lead you off a cliff.

Verse 17 – During the first three years, the south rallied around the temple and the service of the Lord, while the north focused on the cult of idolatry, instigated by Jeroboam.

Verses 18-21 – Rehoboam had 18 wives, many from  blood relations. Maacah (also called Micaiah), was probable Absalom’s grand-daughter by his son or son-in-law, Uriel (13:2). She would become influential in leading the people into idolatry.

Verses 22, 23 – There was one matter, however, that Rehoboam seemed to be wiser in than both David and Solomon. Both had left their sons in Jerusalem, where they had been given important titles but not much responsibility. Having spent his first 41 years living in limbo, Rehoboam made sure his son’s had a meaningful purpose. He put them in charge of the newly fortified cities and provided them with numerous wives. (I’m not sure all those wives were a good thing).

2 Chronicles – Chapter 10

2 chronicles chapter 10

Some of theses Kings have similar names, so here’s a summary of the first two of the rest of kings mentioned in 2 Chronicles.

Rehoboam: First king of Judah; son of Solomon; the king under who the united Kingdom split into north (Israel) and south (Judah).

Jeroboam: First King of Israel; leader in revolt of 10 northern tribes of Rehoboam; instituted official idol worship in the north; Jeroboam was from the tribe of Ephraim and at one time had been the leader of Solomon’s labor force in Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:26-40). One day the prophet Ahijah had approached Jeroboam and told him he would one day become king over 10 northern tribes, Jeroboam fled to Egypt to avoid Solomon’s execution. He had remained there throughout the rest of Solomon’s reign. When he heard of Solomon’s death and Rehoboam would be king, he made his way back from exile to join the assemble.

Verses 1-15 – Following bad advise can cause disaster. Rehoboam lost the chance to rule in  peace because he took the advise of the less experienced and he did not ask God for wisdom. If we only  take the advise from those who hold the same opinion, we are likely headed for a big mess!

Verses 5-7 – King Solomon had been known for his wisdom and his ability to decide difficult questions. Rehoboam, however, was unable to respond to this simple request. Did he not learn anything from his father in the 41 years of watching Solomon reign and rule the Kingdom? We can learn a lot from our parents whether we like to admit it or not, good or bad. Rehoboam should have given the people what they wanted.

Verses 8-10 – Rehoboam’s peers are identified as young men, but they were the same age as Rehoboam because they had grown up with him, which was roughly 40 years. These men had waited a long time to have any influence in the Kingdom. Now they saw an opportunity to assert themselves.

Verse 11 – Scorpions is translated to mean “Barbed whips–a common instrument of discipline in the ancient Near East.

Verse 14  – Solomon had changed during his reign. He had forgotten the wisdom God had given him in the beginning about ruling over the children of Israel. Evidently, Rehoboam had only picked up on the latter years when Solomon became harsh towards God’s people.

Verses 16-19 – In trying to have it all, Rehoboam lost almost everything. He was motivated by power and greed. He ended up dividing the kingdom. His demands were based on selfishness rather than reason or spiritual discernment. He had everything when he inherited the richest kingdom in the world, but greed says, “I want more!” Those who insist on having it all , often end up with little or nothing.

How sad that David had fought so hard to unite Israel, and one little immature whippersnapper came along and destroyed what had been built! Ten of the tribes followed Jeroboam and called their nation Israel, or the northern kingdom. The other two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, remained loyal to David’s line and accepted Rehoboam’s rule. They called their nation Judah, or southern kingdom.