Second Chronicles is essentially the most underrated e-book in Scripture.
Partly it’s because its prequel will get off to a sluggish begin. The prolonged family tree of 1 Chronicles 19 is extraordinarily boring for many fashionable readers, although it performs an important function within the authors general challenge. The ultimate chapters of 1 Chronicles additionally go into intensive element on priestly and musical obligations, which take a reasonably dedicated theologian or animated worship chief to get smitten by. So by the point folks attain 2 Chronicles, they’re prepared to treat the chronicler as a pedantic, laborious bean-counter who can not appear to get out of the weeds.
And partly its as a result of it appears to repeat the content material of 1 and a pair of Kings, however with Elijah and Elisha taken out. (Elijah does make a short look in 2 Chronicles, however there isn’t a Mount Carmel, no nonetheless small voices or miraculous meals or stolen vineyards or fiery chariots ascending into the sky.) The temple constructing remains to be there, and the ups and downs of excellent and dangerous kings are nonetheless there, however the motion heroes have been edited out. A dismissive reader might suppose the chronicler is attempting to make life tough for us.
Worshipful Historical past
We’re not referred to as to be dismissive readers.And once we learn 2 Chronicles by itself phrases, we uncover that regardless of its lack of deal with Elijah and Elishawhich outcomes from its lack of deal with the northern kingdom altogetherit is in some ways essentially the most centered, prophetic, prayerful, and worshipful historical past e-book within the Bible. It’s the Acts of the Outdated Testomony: the story of how Gods home was established and crammed with the Spirit, how his folks prayed, worshiped, failed, repented, had been captured by their enemies and in the end let loose, and the way Gentiles got here to worship him.
There are heroes like Peter and John (Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah). There are villains like Herod (Ahaz, Amon). There’s a trustworthy believer who will get stoned, like Stephen (Zechariah). There’s a villain-turned-disciple like Paul, who turns from persecuting Gods folks and turns into a trophy of grace (Manasseh).
It’s the Acts of the Outdated Testomony, and in some ways essentially the most centered, prophetic, prayerful, and worshipful historical past e-book within the Bible.
By specializing in the southern kingdom, Judah, the chronicler is ready to give way more time to their kings, exhibiting us their ethical complexity and what we will be taught from each. Kings like Solomon, Rehoboam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Uzziah, Hezekiah, and Josiah get handled at size, with nuance and what a novelist may name character improvement. We hear how they suppose, how they converse, and (in my favourite verse within the e-book) how they pray:
We have no idea what to do, however our eyes are on you. (2 Chron. 20:12)
We see good kings who make catastrophic choices, mediocre kings who’re redeemed with a smart response, horrible kings who repent and discover forgiveness. These males are usually not two-dimensional cartoons, used as placeholders for saying that worship of Yahweh is sweet and idolatry is dangerous. They’re rounded, actual folks, who’ve moments of greatness and weak spot, and who must be taught the significance of humility, knowledge, obedience, and prayer.
Useful for Pastors
The creator can also be thinking about monks, and presents them in a method that’s enormously instructive for pastors as we speak. If we’ve learn the Outdated Testomony to this point, we all know that monks are accountable for animal sacrificesand since that’s one thing we not do, given the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus, its simple to suppose monks have little to show us about management. However once we learn 1 and a pair of Chronicles, we discover that though the monks do supply animal sacrifices, they’re additionally seen as worshipers and gatekeepers. (Second Chronicles 31:2 summarizes three roles: for burnt choices and peace choices, to minister within the gates of the camp of the LORD, and to offer thanks and reward.)
Monks lead the folks spiritually by main them in worship, via music, track, reward, and prayer. They usually guard the presence of God as gatekeepers, stopping folks from unauthorized entry to the sanctuary, whether or not to supply sacrifice (like Uzziah) or to pilfer the gold to purchase off their enemies (like Ahaz). Elders have quite a bit to be taught from the way in which monks perform their duties, and from what occurs after they dont.
Position of Prophets and Prophecy
However essentially the most compelling contribution of two Chronicles, for me, is the way in which it highlights the function of prophets and prophecy. Whereas in 1 and a pair of Kings the prophets primarily act, in Chronicles they train, with loads of software for readers each then and now. Shemaiah focuses on humility (chapter 12). Azariah presses dwelling the connection between forsaking God and being forsaken by him (chapter 15). Hanani reveals the connection between peace (shalom) and having a coronary heart that’s entire (shalem):
For the eyes of the earth run backward and forward all through the entire earth, to offer sturdy help to these whose coronary heart is innocent towards him. You’ve finished foolishly on this, for any longer you should have wars. (2 Chron. 16:9)
Micaiah warns Jehoshaphat that if he allies with Ahab, Israel can be scattered like sheep with no shepherd (chapter 18). Jehu pronounces judgment for loving those that hate the LORD (19:2). Jahaziel reminds Judah that the battle just isn’t yours, however Gods. . . . You’ll not must combat on this battle. Stand agency, maintain your place, and see the salvation of the LORD in your behalf (20:1517). We might go on, to Zechariah, Oded, Huldah, and several other others.
Filled with Treasure
Second Chronicles is stuffed with treasure. We might discuss concerning the two Abijahs, one male and one feminine, who embody the theme of the e-book. We might discuss concerning the 5 Azariahsone prophet, two monks, one king, and one chiefwho show it in very other ways.
Within the chroniclers skillful fingers, all of those prophets, monks, kings, and different people reinforce the center of the e-book, which can also be the center of the gospel: that if we repent, consider, and humble ourselves earlier than God, he’ll save us, in his nice mercy and style.
Give due to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures eternally!