2 Chronicles 33-36; The same story is told over and over again in the Book of the Kings and the Chronicles of how a King rises to prominence and then falters later on it his reign. We left Hezekiah at the height of his reign; he became arrogant and prideful and God humbled him. The repentance by Hezekiah restored the blessings of God toward his rule. Hezekiah does get mortally sick and prays to the LORD for more time; God answers the prayer and extends Hezekiah’s life 15 years. Now you wouldn’t think that 15 years would make all that much difference; but Hezekiah has a son named Manasseh who winds up being probably the most evil king in all of Judah’s existence. We know from previous accounts that Manasseh worshipped the fire god Molech; and he made his sons be sacrificed to the idol god. In 2 Chrono 33:6 we read that he [Manasseh] did worse than the gentile tribes and clans that God removed from the Promised land. He practiced divination, sorcery, dealt with spirits and mediums which angered God vehemently! He installed idols in the House of God; erected idol altars and made Judah and Jerusalem more evil than the surrounding nations. BUT – when God rebuked and disciplined Manasseh, Manasseh humbled himself before God and God forgave him. In that repentance Manasseh began to reform Judah by tearing down all the previous idols and altars he erected. I am so amazed at the great forgiveness and mercy of God! The mere act of humbling ourselves, regardless of the sin and evil we have done – God responds with lovingkindness and mercy. Folks that’s mind blowing!
Amon, Manasseh’s son takes over, but only last for two years – why so short, because he did evil in the sight of the LORD and would not HUMBLE himself before God. God had no option but to pour out His wrath. In fact, Amon’s own people kill him. I wonder will America ever come to the point of refusal to be humble before God that He has to pour out His wrath on us? Remember the slightest indication of humility before God enacts His love and mercy!
Enter into the history story one child King called Josiah. Now you would think that a young boy, or anyone for that matter with the family heritage as he had would do evil like those before him; nope- He did that which was pleasing to God as “his father David did.” Hear of some of the reforms Josiah did – purged the high places of idols, tore down the altars, burned the bones of the false priests, chopped down the Asherim poles and led Jerusalem to restore the Temple. It took him 10 years to do all the work of reform. The struggle about the reforms was they were from the King Josiah; but hadn’t been bought into by the people. This tells me that people don’t want gross evil; but they do want to dabble in sin. During the restoration of the Temple the book of Deuteronomy is found. Josiah rips his clothes, understanding the horror of wrath from God because of the rebellious fathers of Judah. A revival breaks out, the Word of God is read and great conviction comes over the people. The Passover is reinstituted – 2 Chron. 3517-19 tells us that the Passover was not observed like this was since the days of Samuel – that mean Saul, David and Solomon never observed the Passover like King Josiah brought back!
Josiah dies as a result of not listening to the King Neco from Egypt. Neco tried to warn him not to fight at Carchemish [the LORD was speaking to Neco] and Josiah dies. After this we have a “king, king, who is the King, merry go round. The fall of Judah is eminent; Jeremiah the prophet has been preaching the warnings from God, but no one pays attention. King Nebuchadnezzar ultimately takes Judah captive through three deportations. Israel, Judah and Samaria are all besieged by gentile nations for their rebellious evil acts against God.
We have the return of the deportees and the restoration 70 years later as it is written in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah – but then that is another story.
In conclusion; I have spent 4 and half years blogging the entire Bible. I will continue from time to time adding other blogs. But the Bible Blog ends today. Thank you for all who have followed through the years. It has always been my prayer that God would use this technology for His Glory – Through the years I have had people from some 35 different countries join in the reading of this blog. I will keep all the posts for others to access.