2 Chronicles 34
1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, walked in the ways of David his father, and did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, the groves, the carved images, and the molten images. 4 And they broke down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and he cut down the sun pillars, that were on high above them, the groves, the carved images, and the molten images, he broke in pieces, made dust of them, and spread it on the graves of those that had sacrificed to them.
- Josiah was 16 years old when he began to seek God.
- Josiah oversaw the destruction of the idols.
- All idols and idol worshippers lead others to eternal death.
- That’s eternal murder!
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
5 He burnt the bones of the priests on their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And he also did this in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, even to Naphtali, with their axes all around. 7 And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, had beaten the carved images to powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
God honors us by living among us
8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God. 9 And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered from the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, from all of the remnant of Israel, and from all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem. 10 And they gave it to the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen that worked in the house of the LORD, to restore and repair the house: 11 They gave it to the skilled workers and builders to buy cut stone, timber for beams, and to floor the houses that the kings of Judah had destroyed.
- The LORD God is the Maker of heaven and earth.
- There are no higher credentials anywhere, ever!
- It is man’s highest honor that God would dwell among us.
- 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.
12 The men did the work faithfully: their overseers were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, from the sons of Merari; Zechariah and Meshullam, from the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and other of the Levites, all that were skillful with instruments of music. 13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that did the work in any kind of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, officers, and gatekeepers.
- The scribes could read and write.
- They kept the records.
- They exactingly and painstakingly copied the words that God had given to Moses and the prophets.
God’s wrath was great over the ruin caused by idolatry
14 And when they brought out the money that was brought to the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king back word saying, All that was committed to your servants, they are doing it. 17 They have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it to the hand of the overseers and to the hand of the workmen.
18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 19 And when the king had heard the words of the law, he tore his clothes. 20 The king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s saying, 21 Go, ask of the LORD for me and for those left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do all that is written in this book.
- Matthew 4:4… Man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
22 And Hilkiah, and those that the king had appointed, went to Huldah, the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spoke to her regarding this. 23 And she answered them, The LORD God of Israel says this, Tell the man that sent you to me, 24 The LORD says this, Behold, I will bring evil on this place and on its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that they have read before the king of Judah: 25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath will be poured out on this place, and will not be quenched.
- The rulers and people brought it on themselves. God had warned them for 861 years.
26 And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to ask the LORD, say this to him, The LORD God of Israel says this concerning the words that you have heard; 27 Because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and against its inhabitants, and humbled yourself before me, tore your clothes, and wept before me; I have heard you, says the LORD. 28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers; you will be gathered to your grave in peace and your eyes will not see all the evil that I will bring on this place, and on the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again. 29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
- Josiah postponed God’s judgment by his seeking God and leading the nation back to Him.
- The people enjoyed peace.
- John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, I give unto you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
30 And the king went up to the house of the LORD, all the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.
- God’s word is to be read to His people as they gather.
- All of it (Matthew 4:4, Jeremiah 26:2 and many other references).
- Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, gave sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, to keep his commandments, his testimonies, and his statutes with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that are written in this book. 32 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. The inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that were subject to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, to serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not depart from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
- Jeremiah 10:10 the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
2 Chronicles 35
1 Moreover Josiah kept a passover to the LORD in Jerusalem: they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 And he set the priests in their duties, and encouraged them in the service of the house of the LORD, 3 And said to the Levites that taught all Israel, who were holy to the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel built; it will no longer be a burden on your shoulders: now serve the LORD your God, and his people Israel, 4 Prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, by your watches, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. 5 And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brothers, the sons of the people, and by the division of the families of the Levites. 6 So kill the passover, sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brothers, to do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
- Josiah began to rule the nation of Judah at eight years old.
- At age 16 he began to seek God.
- He had cleansed the land of false gods, repaired the house of God, and brought the nation back to worship of the only true God.
- The passover celebrated the deliverance of the Israelites from 400 years of grueling slavery in Egypt.
- God worked 10 miraculous judgments that judged the false gods of the Egyptians and showed that He was the true God (Exodus 4-10).
- The miracles of Jesus showed the world who He was. The passover is a symbol of our deliverance from sin by Christ’s death on the cross.
- 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.
He loves us enough to die for us
7 Josiah gave to the people from the flock, lambs and kids, all for the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls: these were from the king’s substance. 8 And his princes gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God gave to the priests for the passover offerings 2,600 small cattle, and 300 oxen. 9 Also Conaniah, Shemaia, and Nethaneel, his brothers, Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, leaders of the Levites, gave to the Levites for passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen. 10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment. 11 They killed the passover, the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites skinned them. 12 They removed the burnt offerings so that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer to the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And they did this with the oxen. 13 They roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but they boiled the other holy offerings in pots, in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people.
- This was a huge feast celebrating Jesus Christ.
- Every sacrifice was a picture of God’s love for us.
- This was a very orderly process.
- When they offered the sacrifices it was like us believing John 3:16.
- They also ate from the sacrifices.
- This was their acceptance of Christ as Savior and taking communion.
- Each sacrifice was a display of God’s love.
- In Genesis 3:21 God made coats of skins to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.
- He promised in Genesis 3:15 to send a Savior to rescue them from the plight that they brought on themselves by choosing to disobey God.
- Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you.
- Romans 5:8 But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
14 Afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests: because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy offering burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 The singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the gatekeepers waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; so their brothers the Levites prepared for them.
- They didn’t have to go home for dinner. The Levites brought food to them.
16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD according to the commandment of king Josiah. 17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread for seven days. 18 No passover was kept like it in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, the priests, the Levites, all Judah, all Israel were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 This Passover was kept in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah. 20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.
- Josiah was 26 when this Passover was held.
- Necho didn’t come out to fight against Josiah.
- He was there to fight against Carchemish.
- Josiah mustered his troops and went to fight him.
- God had not told him to do this.
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
God rules over all kings
21 But he sent ambassadors to him saying, What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war: for God commanded me to hurry: stop meddling with God, who is with me, that he not destroy you. 22 But Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and did not listen to the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
- Notice that God had told Necho to fight against Carchemish.
- Josiah didn’t seek God’s will in this war.
- He didn’t listen to God’s warning to turn back.
- Necho tried to keep him safe.
- Josiah disguised himself and fought anyway.
- He meddled in a war that was not his business.
- He wasn’t by himself. He led God’s people into this.
- Idolatry brings war.
- Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates:
- Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
23 The archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Take me away; for I am severely wounded. 24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem. He died, and was buried in one of the graves of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spoke of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and behold, they are written in the lamentations. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his kindnesses, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD, 27 And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
- 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 And 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.
2 Chronicles 36
1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. 2 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. 3 And the king of Egypt removed him at Jerusalem and fined the land 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold. 4 And the king of Egypt made Eliakim, his brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz, his brother, and carried him to Egypt.
- God allowed this to wake them up from their disobedience to Him.
- He wants only blessing for mankind.
- The sufferings of this life are either (1) for testing (2) for cleansing our lives or (3) by our own choice in turning from God.
5 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began to reign and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: he did evil in the sight of the LORD his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against him and bound him in chains to carry him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the articles of the house of the LORD to Babylon and put them in his temple at Babylon. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.
- God blesses obedience and disciplines disobedience (Deuteronomy 28). This was another chance to avoid discipline from God.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD. 10 And when the year expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon, with the precious articles of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah, his brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem. 11 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.
- Evil leads to eternal death.
- God cannot allow it indefinitely.
- God spoke through Jeremiah.
- God gave yet another chance to return to Him and live in blessing.
- 2Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
- 2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration/God-breathed of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
13 He also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning to the LORD God of Israel. 14 Moreover all the chief of the priests and the people, transgressed very much like all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD that he had sanctified in Jerusalem.
- Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah swear by God.
- God gives circumstances that drive us toward Him for our good.
- This man stiffened his neck and hardened his heart.
- Saul/Paul turn to God when prodded by God (Acts 9:5).
- It was an astounding honor that God would place His house at Jerusalem.
- These people treated it as nothing and filled it with the filth of evil.
The Lord has compassion on His people
15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them continually and carefully by his messengers, rising up early and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despised his words, and misused his prophets until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, until there was no remedy/healing.
- It was 861 years from the time God sent the first warning to the people until He totally destroyed them.
- 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
17 Therefore he brought on them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.
- Notice how God controls nations. He IS LORD of all.
18 And all the articles of the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 19 They burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all the valuable articles. 20 And those that had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 21 To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill 70 years.
- Every seventh year the people were to allow the land a year of rest. They didn’t do it. So God did.
- Leviticus 26:34 Then will the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate, and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy her sabbaths.
The God of heaven gave all the kingdoms of the earth to Cyrus
22 Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing saying, 23 Cyrus king of Persia says this, The LORD God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.
- At the end of the seventy years time for the land to enjoy her Sabbaths God stirred up the spirit of the king of the world to fulfill exactly what God had planned.
- God charged Cyrus to build Him a house at Jerusalem.
- He released the Jews from captivity to return to their homeland and do it.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
SUMMARY: 2 Chronicles 34-36
- The LORD of heaven and earth honors us greatly by living among us
- His wrath is great because of the ruin caused by idolatry
- He loves us enough to die for us
- He rules over all kings
- The LORD has compassion on His people
- The God of heaven gave all the kingdoms of the earth to Cyrus