2 Chronicles 31
1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, broke the images in pieces, cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and in Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, to their own cities.
- When the big celebration of 2 Chronicles 30 was over they destroyed all the false gods and false places of worship from their land.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
God alone deserves our best and highest praise
2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites by their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD. 3 He appointed also the king’s portion from his substance for the burnt offerings, that is, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD. 4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.
- Providing their living from the tithes and offerings of the people gave the priests and Levites time to study God’s word so they could teach it to the people.
- 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.
5 And as soon as the commandment went out, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first fruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and all the increase of the fields; and they brought in abundantly the tithe/tenth of all things. 6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.
- God wants to lavish abundance on His people.
- Deuteronomy 28:1-3 gives the details of all the ways that God wants to bless us.
- Ephesians 3:20 Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. 8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel. 9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.
The LORD has blessed His people
10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have plenty left over: for the LORD has blessed his people; and that which is left is this great abundance. 11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; so they prepared them, 12 and brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was next. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, at the commandment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah, the ruler of the house of God. 14 Kore, the son of Imnah, the Levite, the keeper of the eastern gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the gifts of the LORD, and the most holy things.
- The people had obeyed God by removing all the idols from the land.
- God blessed them mightily for their obedience.
- God blessed the tithing also (Malachi 3:10).
15 And next him were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their set office, to give to their brothers by courses, to the great as well as the small: 16 Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even to every one that entered into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses; 17 Both to the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their charges by their courses; 18 And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:
- The courses were the monthly assignments.
- They were assigned a month of service at God’s house and the rest of the year at home.
- Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy: for I am the LORD your God.
19 Also of the sons of Aaron the priests, which were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every several city, the men that were designated by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all that were listed by genealogies among the Levites. 20 Hezekiah did this throughout all Judah, and worked what was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.
- We are fallen beings and do not know what is right in the eyes of God apart from the Word of God.
- The world is full of good today…but it is good that leaves God out. And that is evil.
- Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
2 Chronicles 32
1 After these things and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah, camped against the fortified cities, and spoke to conquer them for himself. 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his face was to war against Jerusalem, 3 He counselled with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains that were outside the city: and they helped him.
- This attack came after Hezekiah had led the people into turning to God from idols.
- They removed all the idols and their altars from the land and established the temple worship as was commanded by God. Then this attack came.
- Sennacherib was like Satan attacking after victory to try to turn the people back to evil.
4 So many people gathered together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that overflowed through the midst of the land saying, why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water? 5 He took courage and rebuilt the wall that was broken, raised it up to the towers and built another wall outside, strengthened Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 He set captains of war over the people and gathered them together to himself in the street of the gate of the city and spoke to their heart saying, 7 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria, or for all the multitude that is with him: for there are more with us than with him:
God is with us and He fights for us
8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
- Deuteronomy 20:4 For the LORD your God is he that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
- Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?
9 After this, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent his servants to Jerusalem, to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying, 10 Sennacherib, king of Assyria, says this, on what do you trust, that you remain in the stronghold in Jerusalem? (but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him,) 11 Is not Hezekiah persuading you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst saying, The LORD our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 12 Has not this same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem saying, you are to worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?
- As Sennacherib was busy fighting against Lachish he sent ambassadors to speak to the people of Jerusalem, hoping to conquer them without a battle.
13 Do you not know what my fathers and I have done to all the people of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands able to deliver their lands out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? 15 Now therefore do not let Hezekiah deceive you, or persuade you like this, do not believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less can your God deliver you out of my hand?
- Sennacherib’s pride was great and He lacked knowledge of the true God and thought himself invincible.
- God had used this man to destroy many false gods of the earth.
16 And his servants spoke still more against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 Also he wrote letters to blaspheme the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people out of my hand. 18 Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ speech to the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall to frighten and to terrify them; that they might take the city. 19 And they spoke against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth that were the work of the hands of man. 20 For this reason king Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven.
- The enemy uses fear to try to take captive God’s people.
- But God is always with us and will not fail us.
- He will provide the solution.
- Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, the Lord uses difficulties to build our trust in Him and His word.
- Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The LORD sent an angel who killed 185,000 enemy soldiers
21 And the LORD sent an angel, who cut off/killed all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he came to the house of his god, those that came out of his own bowels killed him there with the sword.
- The king of Assyria had waged a war against God’s children in Judah and was killed by his own children.
- Isaiah 37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went out, and struck the camp of the Assyrians 185,000: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
- Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
22 The LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. 23 And many brought gifts to the LORD at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah, king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from then on. 24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed to the LORD: and he spoke to him, and he gave him a sign.
- God healed Hezekiah.
- 2Kings 20:6 And I will add fifteen years to your days; and I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
- 2Kings 20:11 And Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
25 But Hezekiah did not return according to the benefit done to him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath on him, on Judah, and Jerusalem. 26 However, Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he made himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; 28 Storehouses also for the increase of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of animals, and pens/folds for flocks. 29 Moreover he provided himself cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him very much him substance. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
- God turned back His wrath when they humbled themselves before him and He prospered him greatly (Psalm 1, Joshua 1:8).
God tests our hearts
31 However, in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to test him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his kindnesses, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the highest of the graves of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
- 1Chronicles 29:17 I know also, my God, that you test the heart, and have pleasure in uprightness.
- Jeremiah 11:20… LORD of hosts, that judge righteously, that test the reins and the heart...
2 Chronicles 33
God cast out those who did only evil
1 Manesseh was twelve years old when he began to reign and he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem: 2 But he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD like to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 3 He rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, he raised up altars for Baalim, made groves, worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4 He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, In Jerusalem my name will be forever. 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
- God wants only good for mankind.
- What God has for man is exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or be imagining (Ephesians 3:20).
- The source of evil is Satan.
- The heathen are the nations that turned their back on God to follow Satan.
- Leviticus 18 lists the practices of the heathen for which God cast them out of the land of.
- False gods lead people to eternal death.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, used enchantments, used witchcraft, dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 7 And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, I will put my nam/person forever:
- It was the highest honor on earth that God chose to dwell there.
- They desecrated that honor by insulting God with these statues that cannot move or see or hear or anything.
- God is not like any of them.
- God made all things.
- He gives life.
- Worship of the Baalim involved burning your children on the arms of idols while the people had orgies to the screams of their burning children. God hates this.
- Mark 9:42 And whosoever will offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
8 Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land that I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses. 9 So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. 10 And the LORD spoke to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not listen. 11 So the LORD brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks, and bound him with bronze chains, and carried him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in affliction, he sought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,
- The hooks were thongs put through the nose.
- The main reason for war on earth is that mankind worships things and gods other than our Maker.
- Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates:
- 1Peter 5:5 God sets himself against the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
God listened to Manasseh, answered him, and returned him to Jerusalem and his kingdom
13 And prayed to him: and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, returned him to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God. 14 Now after this he built a wall outside the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and surrounded the tower and raised it up a to very great height, and put captains of war in all the fortified cities of Judah.
- Jeremiah 10:10 the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
15 And he took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and threw them out of the city. 16 He repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed on it peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
- He turned the nation back to worshipping the true God.
17 Nevertheless the people still sacrificed in the high places, but to the LORD their God only. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers that spoke to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up groves and carved images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his place. 21 Amon was 22 years old when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 But he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, as Manasseh his father did: for Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them; 23 He did not humble himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. 24 And his servants plotted against him, and killed him in his own house. 25 But the people of the land killed all those that had plotted against king Amon; and the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place.
SUMMARY: 2 Chronicles 31-33
- God alone deserves our highest and best praise
- He is with us and fights for us
- He sent and angel to deliver His people who killed 185,000 enemy soldiers
- He tests our hearts
- God casts out those who only do evil
- He listened to Manesseh's prayer and returned him to his throne