2 Chronicles 36

2 Chronicles 36 ends this book on a very sad note.  We’ve just finished the reign of a pretty good king, at least down to the last days.  Josiah is followed by his son “Jehoahaz….reigned three months” before Neco king of Egypt came and “made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim”.  Bottom line, we go from a king who followed God to a series of kings who do exactly the opposite.  “He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, comes and takes him captive.

So “Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place….He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  This is beginning to sound like a broken record.  Now the third king since Josiah and all of them are evil.  “Zedekiah….did what was evil in the sight of the Lord….He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar”.  It just goes from bad to worse as we continue the journey through the kings.  But it is spreading quickly to the people too.

“All the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations”.  This is what bad leadership will do.  The people follow and soon lose sight of wrong and right and are way off the tracks.  God doesn’t give up on them though.  “Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place”.  God pursues his people and tries to bring them back.  He begins by sending prophets that urge them to repent.

“But they kept mocking the messengers of God….until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy”.  God’s love has limits.  He will finally decide to take corrective action and clean up sin.  So God sends the Chaldeans to do the cleansing and “they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels”.  He made it clear that things were going to change, and they were in exile for seventy years before God takes action to bring the people back as he “stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” who was tasked with rebuilding the temple and city as Jeremiah had prophesied.

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