[response to OYB’s August 2-4 readings]
In these readings we realize what a terrible position Israel, or actually Judah, was in leading up to the exile. The Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians were all breathing down their necks. They still have two good kings left, first Hezekiah and finally Josiah.
Hezekiah fortifies Jerusalem and cuts of water that was going out of the city–good seige warfare defense–but as reported in 2 Chronicles 32:16-19, also has to deal with taughting messages shouted out in Hebrew in order to undermine his followers. It doesn’t work and God sends an angel to kill the Assyrian army.
Josiah, the last good king, does well but it is not enough. He suffers what I call the reverse Moses, wherein the prophetess tells him that God will destroy Israel (Judah) because of its sinfulness, but since Josiah is such a good king, God will wait to do it until Josiah dies. 2 Chronicles 34:27-28.
Second Chronicles does end on the following up note:
The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’”
Which is nice. Also, today’s reading had some nice shout outs to all the Godly ladies. In addition to featuring a prophetess in Chronicles we have Romans 16.