2 Chronicles (2 Chr)
Book 14 of the OT, having 36 chapters. Being another historical book, it covers the period 970 to 586 BC, a similar period as 1 and 2 Kings, and the author is probably Ezra. It details the call on the leaders to unite the nation with sincere and genuine worship to God besides showing how each of the Kings of Judah measured up to God’s standards. Time to read: 2hrs 40 mins.
Key people: besides Solomon each of the 20 other Kings are listed. Some of the more notable are Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh.
Outline. It continues on from 1 Chronicles, concentrating almost exclusively on the Southern Kingdom (Judah). King Solomon prays for wisdom, then constructs and builds the temple. After his death, the nation divides into two kingdoms and the spiritual climate deteriorates as king after king leads the people into idolatry. Occasionally a good king would be able to turn the people back to God but when he died the next king reverted to heathen gods. Judah’s failure to repent and follow God brought judgement on them – captivity by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC and destruction of the temple. Subsequently, in 539 BC, the king of Persia (Cyrus) conquered Babylon and the following year he asked for Jewish volunteers to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
Main lesson. In the OT, the emphasis was on the visible and external, as portrayed in the magnificent temple where God chose to manifest His presence. For us today, each true believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit and the emphasis is on the inner (unseen) qualities of character developed through following Christ.
Key verses and thoughts. * In the temple dedication prayer Solomon reminded God of His promises to David – that provided they walked uprightly before Him, God would… (2 Chr 6:16). The people held the key to their own destiny as there was a direct correlation between obeying and being blessed, while disobeying resulted in severe discipline. This principle was reinforced by Jesus when He said, “If you love me you will obey me” (Jn 14:15). Obedience to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our hearts, and to the clear instruction from the Word indicates our love for God, and determines how He can outwork His purposes in our lives.
* God’s promise is, “When my people sin, if they will humble themselves, pray, seek me and turn from their evil ways I will hear, forgive and heal” (2 Chr 7:14). He responds in forgiveness when there is genuine repentance – a humble acknowledgement of sin, asking for forgiveness and turning away from it while searching for and connecting to God.
* God seeks for those whose hearts are perfect and fully committed to Him so He can show His great power in helping them (2 Chr 16:9). Do I meet this condition or do I have a causal and lukewarm commitment that prevents Him assisting me?
See also: Babylon, 1 Chronicles, Daniel, Hezekiah, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Nebuchadnezzar, repentance, Solomon, temple.