2 Chronicles ends with a flurry of bad and evil kings. What a ride it has been. This entire section of scripture is filled with the pendulum of good and bad kings. A generation or two follow God which is quickly turned upside down by generations who change on a dime and move away from their heritage. So sad. Chapter 36 is one of those sad chapters. Josiah had worked hard to get things right with God. He is followed by Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah who all ruled for short periods and all were bad. Jehoahaz was Josiah’s son for crying out loud and he started the departure from God and the rest continued the folly. The kingdom was whacked by Neco king of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon who both came in and plundered the kingdom. Zedekiah seemed to be the worst of the badness – check out how scripture describes this king:
1. wasn’t a trace of contrition in him
2. never gave GOD a thought; repentance never entered his mind.
3. evil mindset spread to the leaders and priests and filtered down to the people–it kicked off an epidemic of evil
4. mistreated the messengers of God’s Word
a. poked fun
b. despised the message
c. treated the prophets like idiots
Do you see this – pride and self centeredness on the part of the king – and it all rolls down to those who were leaders under him to the point it completely destroys the kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar comes into town and demolishes the Temple and all that are in it totally. It was a “ruthless massacre” of people and a “total plunder” of the things from the Temple. God tried to warn them – over and over He sent messengers and messages telling the people to shape up. Jeremiah was preaching the truth – it wasn’t like they had no chance to hear it. But the evil from the top corrupted the people all the way down and brings God to wrath and the point of allowing total destruction. Cyrus follows and is announces cleanup mode and a desire to rebuild the Temple. So sad a story. God is not mocked guys. He demands obedience and holiness. Don’t mess with any less.