2 Chronicles – Chapter 29

2 Chronicles chapter 29

Verses 1, 2 – Just when it looked as if things were so bad they could never be made right again, Hezekiah becomes king and led Judah in returning to God. With the highest compliment the Chronicler could pay a king, he compared Hezekiah to king David because of his pursuit of righteousness.

Verse 3 – Very soon after becoming King, Hezekiah opened the doors to the temple again and undid the damage that Ahaz had caused.

Verses 4, 5 – The Levites and the priest had been unemployed during Ahaz’s last years, so they were willing to help clean the temple physically and spiritually.

Verses 10, 11 – We may not have to face a wicked king, but pressures and responsibility can render us inactive and ineffective. We as Christians should always be looking for ways to minister to others.

Verses 15-19 – Before the priests could do anything in the temple, they first had to cleanse themselves so that they would be in a state of spiritual and ritual purity. Once they had taken care of this they could remove all the things that did not belong there, particularly whatever was associated with idolatry. The Kidron Valley was used as a garbage dump where trash was burned.

Verse 21 – Throughout the Old Testament, the sacrifice was God’s appointed way of approaching Him and restoring a right relationship with Him.

Verse 22 – The blood sprinkled on the altar represented the innocence of the sacrificed animal taking place of the guilt of the person making the offering. The animal died so the sinner could live. This ritual looked forward to the day when Jesus Christ, God’s perfect Son, would shed his innocent blood on the cross in order that the sinful and guilty human race might be spared the punishment.

Verses 25-27 – Hezekiah followed the precedents that had been established by David. As soon as the offering began, the musicians joined in.

Verse 30 – Asaph was a seer who received messages from God for the nation through visions or dreams.

Verse 31 – A thank offering, one type of fellowship offering, was given as an expression of gratitude toward God. This would restore peace and fellowship with God.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 28

2 Chronicles chapter 28

Verses 1-4 – By the time Ahaz took over the throne, the people of Judah and their king had become confirmed idol worshipers. Ahaz took the worship of the Baals to the point of burning his own children as an offering to Baal. Sound familiar? Today, abortions are given for a matter of convenience.

Verses 5-8 – Pekah, next to last king of Israel, scored a major victory over Judah, but released all of his prisoners in response to God’s command. Ahaz of Judah, had forsaken the Lord so he was defeated by the king of Damascus, who carried away a number of hostages. Pekah’s army also took a huge number of the people hostage and transported them to the capital city of Samaria in Israel.

Verses 9-11 – Once again God’s prophet shows up in the midst of conflict. Obed, who lived in Samaria, confronted the returning army, who thought they had won a great victory. However, Obed informed them that God was not pleased with the slaughter of their Hebrew brothers. Obed also reminded Pekah, the king of Israel, that he too was guilty and could face similar punishment.

Verses 12-15 – Some leaders of the northern kingdom realized how serious this situation was and took the captives and clothed them; fed them; and set some that were injured on donkeys. They were released to go back to Jericho, the City of Palms.

Verses 16-21 – The nation of Judah had already been defeated by Aram and the northern kingdom; now the Edomites and the Philistines returned to do more damage. But rather than turning to the Lord for help, he asked Tiglah-pileser King of Assyria, to protect him. He gave this Assyrian king all his possessions and everything that belonged to the temple. Tiglah-pileser did defeat Damascus, which he was planing to do anyway, then marched into Jerusalem and helped himself to anything he wanted.

Verse 22 – When tragedies strike, some run to God, some away. Ahaz’s troubles led to a spiritual collapse. He just kept digging a deeper crater between himself and God. The rough times in life will give us the opportunity to grow closer to God. James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work that you may be made perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” From the looks of how Ahaz’s life ended, he failed that test.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 27

2 Chronicles chapter 27

Not much is said about Jotham’s reign, but that he did what was right and followed God.

Verse 1 – Jotham’s reign didn’t have a great impact on his kingdom. Much of his time on the throne overlapped with the time his father, Uzziah, was king, though Uzziah was in isolation.

Verse 2 – Jotham was generally a good king, but his people became corrupt. Maybe it was because he didn’t attempt to purify the land of idolatry or encourage the people to return to God This sinfulness is vividly portrayed in Isaiah 1-5.

verses 7-9 – Jotham was a good king who maintained the kingdom in good condition but was taken for granted by the people . His reigned served as a transition into a dark time for the kingdom of Judah.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 26

2 Chronicles chapter 26

Uzziah (also called Azariah)

We are never closer to failure than during our greatest successes when we fail to give God credit for that achievement. Uzziah’s achievements brought him fame. He was successful in war and peace, in planning and execution, in building and planting. He did so many things well that a consuming pride gradually invaded his life like the leprous disease that finally destroyed his body. Uzziah’s pride was rooted in lack of thankfulness. We have no account of him ever showing appreciation to God.

Verse 2 – One of the first things Uzziah did was to rebuild the seaport of Eloth, at the northern tip of the Red Sea. This meant that Judah once again had access to the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Verse 5 – This Zechariah is not the son of Jehoiada (24:20) or the prophet who has a book of the Bible named after him. Uzziah sought Zechariah’s advice as long as he was alive, but when Zechariah died, Uzziah’s commitment to the Lord weakened, but he never strayed into idolatry.

Verses 11-15 – Uzziah had a different philosophy about the army than his predecessors. In the past, the idea had been to accumulate more and more men. Uzziah had roughly the same number of men at his disposal as his father, but he organized them into more flexible divisions, and he made sure they had effective weapons.

Verse 16 – Uzziah over-stepped the authority that God had denied to any person who was not a descendant of Aaron of the tribe of Levi. He took it upon himself to go into the holy place and burn incense, something only the priest was allowed to do.

Verses 17-21 – When people have money and power, they often think the law doesn’t apply to them. He soon found out when he was confronted by Azariah, a priest, and 80 of his colleagues, that he was dead wrong in his actions. Uzziah still had the fir-pan in his hand when the priest came in. Instead of stopping what he was doing, he continued. He was punished immediately with a skin disease on his forehead. He was led out of the temple and had to live apart from everyone the rest of his life. There are always consequences for disobedience. His son Jotham was placed in charge. Scripture never records of a repentance. He was given a royal burial when he died though.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 25

2 Chronicles chatper 25

Verses 1-4 – Amaziah was the ninth king of Judah and only followed God halfheartedly. He was not able to resist the lure of idolatry or the temptation to go to war unnecessarily. He executed the servants who had killed his father, but not the entire family. (Deuteronomy 24:16 says, … a person shall be put to death for his own sin.)

Verses 5, 6 – The army that Amaziah put together was the smallest division in the kingdom. Even Abijah was able to muster up 400,000 men, while Jehoshaphat’s army numbered over one million. Amaziah could only get 300,000 soldiers. He felt that was not enough, so he hired 100,000 men from the northern kingdom of Israel.

Verses 7-10 – Amaziah thinks he is ready now, to go to battle until a prophet of God shows up. This prophet told Amaziah to send the soldiers back to Israel and let them keep the money. Money should never be the deciding factor when choosing to do what’s right. God’s favor and approval is always more valuable than riches.

Verse 14 – After the victory, pagan idols were set up and worshiped. We are very susceptible to temptation and sin after a victory. It is then that we feel confident about our success. In the excitement, don’t let your defenses down. After you’ve reached the mountain, remember, next comes the valley.

Verse 15 – How foolish Amaziah was to worship the idols of the ones he had just defeated. If they couldn’t save his enemies, how were they going to save him? He took the credit and honor that should have went to God and gave it to “things.” We can make the same mistake when we run after money, power, and recognition. We have to recognize these are empty pursuits.

Verse 18 – In this parable, Judah is the thistle and Israel’s army is the cedar. Ahaziah was proud after defeating Edom and wanted to defeat Israel also. Jehoash warned him not to attack. Pride comes before destruction! And so it did.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 24

2 chronicles chapter 24

Verses 1-4 – Joash was the seventh king of Judah. Joash was under Jehoiada’s guidance while he grew up and when he reached adulthood, Joash decided it was time to repair God’s temple. It had been ignored for many years.

Verse 5 – Joash commissioned the Levites to travel throughout Judah to collect money for the renovation. However, the Levites took their time carrying out the king’s order. A tax for keeping the temple in order was not only the kings wish, but God’s commandment (Exodus 30:11-16). You would think that the Levites would have made this a priority since the temple was a source of their lively hood.

Verses 8-10 – When Joash saw the Levites were taking their time about collecting money, he sent them out instead to require the people to come to Jerusalem and deposit the money in a chest that Joash had placed at the gate. The people gladly came and gave.

Verse 14 – When the construction was done and the workers were paid they had enough money left over to replace the utensils.

Verses 15, 16 – When Jehoiada died at 130 years old, he was buried with high honors where only kings were buried.

Verses 17-19 – As soon as Jehoiada died, the leaders of Judah came to the king and gave him very bad advise, and he listened.They persuaded the king to abandon the Lord and return to idolatry. Judah had been prosperous until this happened. Then scripture says that “wrath” came against Judah and Jerusalem. Nevertheless, God sent a prophet to convince them to return to the Lord. God gave them another chance by pursuing them with a prophet.

Prosperity can be both a blessing and a curse. While it can be a sign of God’s blessing to those who follow Him, it carries with it the potential for moral and spiritual decline. Prosperous people are tempted to become self-sufficient and proud, taking God for granted by saying, “I worked hard for this. I deserve it!”

(The prophet Joel may have been one of these prophets that God sent to Joash during his reign) (835-796BC).

Verses 20-22 – Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada (this is not the same as the Zechariah in the Book of Zechariah because he was the son of Berechiah and a different time period), made a speech confronting the people with their idolatry. The Bible says, God’s spirit took control of Zechariah as he stood before the people of Judah. The people, like most today, didn’t want to hear how they had abandon God. So they stoned him in the courtyard of the temple, with Joash’ permission. This is the same Zechariah that Jesus referred to in Luke 11:47-51, where He accused those leaders of hypocrisy and killing the prophets.

Verses 23, 24 – There had been no direct conflict between Judah and Aram since the time Asa bought off Ben-hadad. With a weak king on the throne, and absent of the Lord’s protection, the Arameans were able to conquer Jerusalem with a very small force and carry off valuables again. How sad. Kind of like us; if we build our lives on sinking sand (without Christ) and a storm comes through and destroys it, we will ask, why.

Verse 25 – Joash was so despised by the Arameans that when they saw that he was severely wounded, they left him on his bed to die in agony. His servants took advantage of the situation and killed him. So he died and they buried him without ceremony outside the tomb of the kings.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 23

2 Chronicles chapter 23

Verses 1, 2 – Jehoiada, the high priest waited patiently six years before he carried out a plan to overthrow Athaliah. He made sure he had military leaders on his side as well as the Levites and the prominent families.

Verses 4-7 – Jehoiada made it appear as though the priests and Levites were carrying on with their usual duties. At the same time, the other Levites were in the immediate vicinity, half of them at the nearby kings palace and half at one of the major gates. The armed troops were in the courtyards. The presence of the military would assure that nothing happened to Joash.

Verse 9 – The temple contained an arsenal of weapons that had been stored there since the time of David. So as soon as the military walked into the temple, they became armed.

Verse 11 – Then they brought out Joash and began to acclaim the child as king. The testimony that the scripture speaks of, may have been a copy of the Torah, Deuteronomy, or a copy of the agreement that Jehoiada had made with all  the leaders acknowledging Joash as the rightful king.

Verse 13 – Athaliah didn’t recognize who Joash was because he had been hidden for six years. So when she saw the people celebrating, she assumed it was treason.

Verses 14-17 – Jehoiada would not desecrate the temple by killing Atlhalia there. They took her out by the Horses’ Gate and anyone who was with her and put her to death. Then the people went to the temple of Baal, killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, and tore it down.

Verses 18, 19 – Jehoiada restored order to the temple by following the outline David had put in place including the daily sacrifices and worship music.

Verses 20, 21 – Jehoiada and the people escorted the 7-year-old Joash to the royal palace and placed him on the throne. Then the land was at peace with no threats coming from anywhere. The wicked queen was dead!

2 Chronicles – Chapter 22

2 Chronicles chapter 22

In order to make sense out of the events in this next section, we recognize the duplication of the names of the kings in the southern and northern kingdoms.

In the northern kingdom of Israel, Ahab (wicked king) had two sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram. When Ahab died, his son Ahaziah succeeded him, and he in turn was succeeded by his brother, Jehoram.

In the southern kingdom of Judah, Jehoshaphat was succeeded by his son Jehoram, and his successor was his son (and Jehoshaphat’s grandson), Ahaziah.

Thus, the successions in the north were Ahab, Ahaziah, and Jehoram. In the south the successions were Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah.

Verses 2-4 – Ahaziah of Judah was just as evil as his father Jehoram. His mother Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, mislead him with evil advice. Ahaziah followed the practices of the northern kingdom, including idolatry and violence.

Verses 5, 6 – Ahaziah of Judah went to fight against the Arameans, just as Jehoshaphat had done with Ahab. The result was almost identical, Joram was seriously wounded.

Verses 7-9 – Jehu: Ninth king of Israel began a new dynasty when he eliminated the house of Ahab and killed Ahaziah of Judah as part of his purge. God’s chosen instrument to put an end to Ahab’s reign was Jehu son of Nimshi who had led a revolt against Ahab and made himself king. Ahaziah of Judah was caught up in this revolution and was executed along with everyone else related to the house of Ahab.

Verse 10 – Now we have Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother leaping at the chance to make herself queen of Judah. She had no legitimate claim to the throne because she was not the descendent of David. She followed her husband’s earlier practice and killed anyone who had a claim to the throne, even her own grandchildren.

Verses 11, 12 – The plot thickens: Joash was a baby. Ahaziah’s sister, Jehoshabeath and her husband Jehoiada, the high priest, raised Joash in seclusion in the temple for six years while evil queen Athaliah reigned over the land.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 21

2 Chronicles Chapter 21

Verses 1-6 – Jehoshaphat dies and his son Jehoram becomes king of Judah. As soon as Jehoram is established, he kills all his brothers and anyone else that might dethrone him. Jehoram was married to King Ahab’s daughter. Athaliah’s mother was Jezebel, the most wicked woman Israel had ever known. This marriage was Judah’s downfall, because Athaliah brought her mother’s wicked influence into Judah causing the nation to forget God and turn to Baal worship.

Verses 8, 9 – The Edomites had suffered defeat during the reign of Jehoshaphat. When they realized that Jehoram was not worshiping the same powerful God as Jehoshaphat had done, they declared their independence. Jehoram set out to attack them by crossing into their territory, but God was not on his side.

Verse 10 – The citizens of this town refused to follow Jehoram because he had abandoned Yahweh, the God of his ancestors. Not everyone turned a blind eye to the disaster into which Jehoram was taking the country.

Verse 11 – Jehoram kept busy installing places of idol worship throughout Judah. The statement that he caused the inhabitants to prostitute themselves can be both literal and symbolic. In the symbolic sense, the people were committing spiritual adultery, in the literal sense, many of the pagan practices involved sexual lewdness. The people of Libnah refused to follow these practices.

Verses 12-15 – Chronicles mentions Elijah only here. Elijah chastised Jehoram for the same behavior for which he had rebuked Ahab, Jehoram’s father-in-law. He told him that he would have an incurable disease of the intestines and just as Jehoram had eliminated his brothers, now Jehoram’s household would be eliminated.

Verses 16, 17 – It had not been long since the Philistines and their Arab neighbors had come calling on Jehoshaphat to bring tribute. Now they came calling again and took back the tribute and everything else in the king’s palace. They killed all of Jehoram’s sons except Jehoahaz, also called Ahaziah.

Verses 18-20 – You would think that if a great prophet predicted a horrible disease on you, you would change your ways, not Jehoram. He lingered for two years with an incurable disease of the bowels and then he died in severe pain. No one mourned him. The people berried him in the city of David but not in the tombs of the kings. No one misses the wicked when they die or regrets that they are gone.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 20

2 Chronicles chapter 20

Verses 1, 2 – The northern kingdom was occupied in a war against the Arameans, while the countries east of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea decided to invade Juda. By the time the word of invasion got to Jehoshaphat, the invading army was about 50 miles from Jerusalem on the west shore of the Dead Sea.

Verse 3 – When Judah was facing a disaster, Jehoshaphat called the people together to get serious with God. They went on a fast and devoted that time to prayer and seeking God. Although Jehoshaphat’s army was over a million men, he knew it wouldn’t matter if he didn’t have God on his side.

Verses 5-9 – In a public prayer in front of the temple, Jehoshaphat reaffirmed Solomon’s prayer and God responded.

Verses 10-12 – Jehoshaphat reminded God of long ago when the Israelites were on their way to the promise land and the Ammonites and Moabites wouldn’t let them pass through their land. Now Jehoshaphat appealed to God to judge them.

Verse 15 – As the enemy got closer to Judah God spoke through Jahaziel. “Do not be afraid or discouraged…for the battle is not yours, but Gods.” We may not fight against an army, but we do have temptations, pressure, and struggles in today’s dark world that rebels against God. As believers we have God’s spirit living on the inside of us that is greater than anyone or thing in the world.

Verses 18, 19 – Jehoshaphat believed Jahaziel’s message. So there was nothing left to do but worship God. This meeting had turned into a giant praise and worship service.

Verse 21 – The next day, the only issue that had to be settled was which songs were going to be sung. That’s trust. The worshipers were out in front praising the entire time while marching toward the enemy. “Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithful love endures forever” is the same chorus sung when the ark was being transported to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:34). As believers, why not sing praises to the faithful God before the battle, because the battle is not ours.

Verses 22, 23 – There were three separate armies who didn’t know each other. They took the praising they heard as shouting. This caused confusion among themselves and fought against each other!

Verses 29, 30 – Due to Yahweh’s reputation, no nation had any interest in picking a fight with Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah. Thus, God’s victory brought peace and prosperity. So in other words, while the storms of life surround you, praise God, let Him fight your battle, and the end result will be peace and prosperity.

Verses 32, 33 – Although Jehoshaphat did destroy most of the Baal and Asheriah idols, he didn’t succeed in wiping out the corrupt religions practiced at the high places.

Verses 35-37 – 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” Once again Jehoshaphat tied himself to the northern kingdom, by making ships that they would send to Tarshish. And once again, God did not allow Jehoshaphat to get away with the compromise. God, sent a prophet named Eliezer to condemn Jehoshaphat’s sin. As punishment a huge storm came and destroyed all the ships.