2 Chronicles 28
1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: 2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and also made molten images for Baalim.
- The kings of Israel were the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel, the ten tribes that broke off from David’s dynasty after the death of Solomon. They worshipped false gods including two golden calves.
3 Moreover he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, like the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 4 Also he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
- Christians betray God and do evil.
- Verse 5 says, "the LORD his God," delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria.
- Deuteronomy 18 lists the abominations done by those cast out.
- Psalm 96:5For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Exodus 34:14For you are to worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
God disciplines His people for good
5 So the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they struck him, carried away a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter. 6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed 120,000 in Judah in one day, all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
- The false gods lead the people to eternal death.
- God sent the Savior to give us life.
- John 10:28And I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
- John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.
7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son, Azrikam, the governor of the house, and Elkanah, who was next to the king. 8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers 200,000, women, sons and daughters, and also took away much plunder from them, and brought the plunder to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the army that came to Samaria and said to them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was furious with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. 10 And now you plan to keep the children of Judah and Jerusalem for your male and female slaves: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God?
- These people did much more against Judah than God intended.
- Remember that God always gave the people plenty of warning and opportunity to return to Him.
The fierce wrath of God was on them
11 Hear me now and return the captives that you have taken captive of your brothers: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is on you. 12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war, 13 and said to them, You must not bring the captives in here: for guilt against the Lord is on us already, you intend to add more sins and to our guilt: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel. 14 So the armed men left the captives and the plunder before the princes and all of the congregation. 15 And the men named rose up, took the captives, and with the plunder, clothed all that were naked among them, dressed them, put shoes on them, gave them to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble of them on asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers: then they returned to Samaria.
- Jeremiah 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turns from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.
- Malachi 3:6 I am the LORD do not change;
16 At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him. 17 For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives. 18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country and the south of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Ajalon, Gederoth, Shocho with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo also and its villages: and they dwelt there.
- War is the result of idolatry.
- Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates.
19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed grievously against the LORD.
- In Genesis the man and woman were naked.
- When they chose evil they needed covering.
- God provided that covering (Genesis 3:21).
- This king took the people out of close relationship with God who is life. He put them in great jeopardy.
- Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
20 And Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came to him, and afflicted him, but did not strengthen him. 21 Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, out of the house of the king, and from the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria: but he did not help him.
- They were paying for protection, but those they hired took their money and tortured them.
- Romans 8:31…If God is for us, who can be against us?
- Psalm 46:1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
22 And in the time of his affliction he trespassed even more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that struck him, saying, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore I will sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
- Evil always brings ruin.
- It’s our choice—the tree of life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- When we trust things or people rather than God, we have chosen evil.
- 2 Chronicles 30:9 For if you turn again to the LORD, your brothers and your children will find compassion before those that lead them captive, so that they will come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.
24 And Ahaz gathered together the articles of the house of God, cut in pieces the articles of the house of God, shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 And he made high places in each city of Judah to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers. 26 Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they did not bring him to the graves of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.
- The articles of God’s house were gold, silver, and bronze.
- Israel was God’s light to the world.
- The temple was like our Bible; it taught the people about God.
- God’s written word was there.
- This act totally cut the nation off from God, though individuals could still pray and seek God.
- Ahaz brought God’s wrath on the nation so they didn’t honor Ahaz with a burial in the royal cemetery.
- Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf will not wither; and whatever he does will prosper
- Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…
2 Chronicles 29
1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was 25 years old and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. 3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. 4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together to the east street, 5 and said to them, Hear me, Levites, sanctify yourselves now, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed and done what was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, forsaken him, turned away their faces from the dwelling place of the LORD, and turned their backs. 7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.
God’s wrath was on Judah and Jerusalem because they turned away from Him
8 Therefore the wrath of the LORD was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as you see with your eyes. 9 For look, our fathers have fallen by the sword. Our sons, our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, so that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent: for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, to minister to him, and burn incense.
- At Mt. Sinai when Moses was on the mountain with God, the people made a golden calf to worship.
- During the judgment for this sin the tribe of Levi showed themselves zealous for God, so He honored them by bringing them close to Him to minister to Him in His house.
- Exodus 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
12 Then the Levites got up, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of the Kohathites: and from the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehalelel: and of the Gershonites; Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah: 13 And of the sons of Elizaphan; Shimri, and Jeiel: and of the sons of Asaph; Zechariah, and Mattaniah: 14 And of the sons of Heman; Jehiel and Shimei: and of the sons of Jeduthun; Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their brothers, sanctified themselves, and came to cleanse the house of the LORD, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD. 16 The priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it, to carry it away, out to the brook Kidron.
- God had showed Hezekiah to do this by His word or had directly told Hezekiah to do this.
17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the showbread table with all its utensils. 19 Moreover we prepared and sanctified all the articles that king Ahaz cast away during his reign, in his transgression, and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD. 20 Then Hezekiah the king rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.
God loved mankind so much that He gave His son to die for our sins
21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven he goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the LORD. 22 So they killed the bulls and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: likewise, when they had killed the rams, they sprinkled the blood on the altar: they also killed the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 And they brought out the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands on them: 24 And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood on the altar, to make an atonement/covering for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering be made for all Israel.
- King Ahaz left the people naked in 2 chronicles 29.
- Wise king Hezekiah covered the people and the nation with the person of God’s Son by these sacrifices.
- When God looked at the nation He saw His perfect Son instead of the people and their sin.
- Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the command of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for this was the command of the LORD by his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. 28 And all the congregation worshipped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped. 30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise to the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
- God alone deserves the most and highest praise.
- God made all things.
- He made us in His image (Genesis 1).
- He gives life and breath to all.
- He provides all that we have.
- He loves us so much that He Himself paid for our sins.
- Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing to the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
- Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, since he gives to all life, and breath, and all things…
31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now you have consecrated yourselves to the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart, burnt offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt offerings that the congregation brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD. 33 And the consecrated things were 600 oxen and 3,000 sheep.
- After the people were consecrated by the first offerings, then the people brought their own offerings and ate of the offerings like we take communion.
- Also gifts were used to support the Levites and priest to continue the work of evangelism and teaching God’s truth to the nation.
34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not skin all the burnt offerings: therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. 35 And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order. 36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
- Philippians 4:19 But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
- Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.
2 Chronicles 30
1 Then Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover to the LORD God of Israel. 2 For the king had taken counsel, his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at the regular time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
- God had instructed this. If a man was unclean and could not keep the Passover in the first month of the Jewish year then he was to celebrate it in the second month (Numbers 9:10, 11).
- The Passover celebrated God for His deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
- It is an illustration for us of God’s far greater deliverance of fallen man from sin.
4 And the thing pleased the king and all of the congregation. 5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan, to come to keep the Passover to the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it for a long time in the way as it was written. 6 So the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king saying, Children of Israel, return to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that have escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
- Remember northern Israel had been taken away from their homeland hostage to Assyria. Hezekiah sent letters to those that escaped.
- James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
The Lord is gracious and merciful
7 Do not be like your fathers and like your brothers that trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD, enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever: and serve the LORD your God, so that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your children will find compassion before those that led them captive, so that they will come again to this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him. 10 So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even to Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. 11 Nevertheless various ones from Asher and Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 Also in Judah the hand of God gave them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD. 13 And many people assembled at Jerusalem to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
- Spiritually, unleavened bread means pure teaching about God.
- The leaven of the Pharisees was adding many things that God did not teach man.
- Leaders do the same thing today. God has said to us all that he wanted to say.
- Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said to them, Watch out, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
14 And they got up and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, they took away all the altars for incense and cast them into the brook Kidron. 15 Then they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: then the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.
- These were altars to false gods.
- Every sacrifice that God required was a picture of His love for us.
- Psalm 96:5 all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him not perish, but have everlasting life. 36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that does not believe the Son will not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him.
16 And they stood in their place after their custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had charge of killing the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them to the LORD. 18 For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, but they ate the passover contrary to the way it was written. So Hezekiah prayed for them saying, The good LORD pardon every one 19 that prepared his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he was not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 20 And the LORD listened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
- Sanctification was a cleansing of body and heart that made them fit to be in God’s presence.
God alone deserves the most and highest praise
21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments to the LORD.
22 And Hezekiah spoke to the heart all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
- God made all things.
- He made us in His image (Genesis 1).
- He gives life and breath to all.
- He provides all that we have. He loves us so much that He Himself paid for our sins.
- Acts 17:25… since he gives to all life, and breath, and all things;
23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep another seven days: and they kept another seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah, king of Judah, gave to the congregation a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. 25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, all of the congregation that came out of Israel, the foreigners that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel there was none like it in Jerusalem. 27 Then the priests the Levites got up and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to the habitation of His holiness, even unto heaven.
- Heaven is God’s holy dwelling place.
- Man’s heart is also God’s dwelling place.
- Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
- Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will feast with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
SUMMARY: 2 Chronicles 28-30
- The LORD disciplines His people for their good
- His fierce wrath is on those who lead to eternal death
- He loves mankind so much that He sent His beloved Son to die for their sins
- He is gracious and merciful
- He alone deserves the most and highest praise