2 Chronicles 36
-The brutal ending of the Kingdom of Judah is depicted in this final chapter of the book, which focuses on the Temple worship of the LORD. This ushered in the time of the Gentiles and their domination over the land, which has survived in many respects up until this present time. However, Israel was miraculously given the award of a sovereign nation by 1948, and has the promises of Messiah’s reign one day. God is not finished with His people and His covenant with them remains.
-Josiah’s son, Joahaz (or Jehoahaz), reigned only three months at the age of 23 in Jerusalem before he was taken by Neco the king back to Egypt. Neco imposed a fine on the land of Israel for their interference with them, and made Eliakim, Joahaz’s brother, king over Judah changing his name to Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the LORD. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, then came up against him, bound him with bronze chains, and took him to Babylon. This began the deportation and exile of the Jews. Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son, took the title of king at the age of eight (2 Kings 24:8 lists him at age 18) for three short months doing evil before being exiled to Babylon along with the valuable articles of the house of the LORD (2 Chronicles 36:1-10).
-Zedekiah, his kinsman, was anointed king by Nebuchadnezzar at the age of 21. He also reigned eleven years, like Jehoiakim, and did evil in the sight of the LORD by rebelling against the Gentile king and not humbling himself before the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke for the LORD. He would not turn his heart toward the LORD God of Israel. Also and furthermore, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful going the way of all the heathen nations around them. They defiled the House of the LORD, which He had sanctified in Jerusalem. “The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy (2 Chronicles 36:11-16). The Chaldeans were brought up against them to utterly destroy the region, dismantling the walls of Jerusalem, burning the House of God and all the fortified buildings, and taking all the valuable treasures of the kings, his officers, and the LORD (2 Chronicles 36:17-19). Those who escaped the sword were carried away to Babylon and served in exile for seventy years until the Persians came to power. This fulfilled the Word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah that the land would now enjoy its Sabbath for 70 years (2 Chronicles 36:20-21). When Cyrus, king of Persia, arose, the LORD stirred his spirit up to send back and rebuild in Jerusalem. He was now the one appointed to build the House of the LORD in Judah. This remarkable sequence in history is related primarily in the book of Ezra.
-*Application* Think not that America will fare any better than God’s chosen people in Judah if we continue to mock the messengers of God, despise His Words, and scoff at His prophets. Prophets always have unique and often strange ways of showing up. Weather it by a Billy Graham, Bono, or Phil Robertson, I pray we as a people pay attention and turn to the LORD before there is left no remedy but destruction and exile.
Verses to Memorize: 2 Chronicles 36:15-16, 21