2 Chronicles 36:1-23
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
“….Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the LORD be with him, and let him go up.” -2 Chronicles 36:23
The book of Second Chronicles was written as an encouragement to God’s people who were in exile in Babylon and were struggling to understand their identity, since they were a tiny minority. As they were grappling with the thoughts of the credibility of God’s promises to Abraham and David and were concerned about their survival in the absence of a King and proper worship, they were exposed to the ridicule and attack of the enemies!! In this context, the Chronicles were written to encourage them and remind them about their rich ancestry.
As Judah was taken to captivity by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar and remained in exile, God raised a Persian King named Cyrus who conquered Babylon and became the rescuer of Judah! Cyrus was a great monarch and the instrument, by whom God delivered His people from exile, returned them to their land and re-built the Temple (Isaiah 44:28 – 45).
Our God is a compassionate God and hence He sends warnings to His people about their sins (2 Chr.36:16). The very example of a king – Zedekiah (vs.12&13) in that period shows their callousness.
He did evil in the sight of the Lord- his deeds
He did not humble himself before the Prophet- His attitude
He rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar-His self-reliance
He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to God- His rebelliousness
Their continuous rejection of God’s messengers kindled the wrath of God which rose against them “until there was no remedy.”(vs.16) However God had already spoken through His prophet Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 25:12 about the Seventy years of exile of Judah and their return.
It is imperative to note that as God was keen on chastising them for their rejection of God’s word brought to them through His messengers, God was equally keen to bless them. If in His anger He disposed them off from their land, in His mercy He reinstated them too!! This is a message of contemporary value. God has been speaking to each one of us about organizing our lives in line with His Word; however, an attitude of constant rejection of the loving voice of God, resulted in many living their lives as if in exile – ie. they have everything, but unable to enjoy them; they live like orphans, although they have a family; they live in desperation although they have received many promises!
Psalm 68:6 says “God makes home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” Dear reader, if your life reflects any of the above situations, then remember that God can change your situation and re-build you – provided you heed to God’s word with a willing heart.
There is another application: there are people of God who become tired and losing their hope as their promises from God is not yet fulfilled! Dear child of God, take courage and be assured that God had not forgotten you!! Even when the people were doubting their very existence, God stirred up the spirit of a Persian King (2Chr.36:22). God did it because of the everlasting covenant He made with their forefathers!! This is something only God can do and He will do the same for you – because of the covenant that He has with you through Christ!
In today’s reading, the compassion and covenant of God are revealed through His dealings with His people. The same is relevant for us today. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!” Malachi 3:6 “For, I the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O son of Jacob are not consumed.”
To remind ourselves: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent; He has said it, and will he not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)