What we are reading this week (beginning Wednesday, March 10, 2020):
• 2 Chronicles 23-29
• Song of Songs 8-7
Week 50. We end a second strand tomorrow, and then will be down to one chapter a week for one more week. We actually will finish March 23, with a week off to catch up and/or prepare for the next round!
After today, we only have fourteen chapters left to go!
Notes on 2 Chronicles
In chapter 23, We find the remarkable story of the brave, courageous, valiant and godly priest Jehoiada stepping up and saving the kingdom of Judah from the total collapse that would have happened under the wicked Athaliah if she had been allowed to remain in power.
Joash is seated on the throne at the tender age of seven. But the good priest mentored him and kept the administration together. However, we find in the next chapter that after Jehoiadah’s death, some ungodly officials of Judah showed up and turned the king’s heart (24.17). God sent to them a number of prophets, including Jehoiada’s own son Zechariah. All of them were ignored, and Zechariah was murdered.
For this act, some of Joash’s officials assassinated him (24.25). His son Amaziah succeeded him on the throne.
Amaziah started out well, following the Lord. We find a most interesting incident in chapter 25, where he hires mercenaries from Israel. The Lord sent a man of God to rebuke him for this move, for “the Lord is not with Israel.” He was told to send them home.
Of course, he had committed a lot of money to this endeavor, and asked about it. The man of God told him that “the Lord can give you much more than that” (25.9). Amazingly, the king complied with the directive.
Then he went out and defeated the men of Seir. However, he brought their gods back with him and began to worship them (25.14). These idols were not able to protect the people of Seir, why in the world would he worship them?
This led to his eventual downfall. The rest of his tenure did not go well.
His son Uzziah now becomes king, the first of four who will be served by the prophet Isaiah.
Uzziah became king at sixteen years old and was on the throne for fifty-two years, faithfully serving the Lord for almost the entire time. At the end of his reign, he became proud, and intended to offer incense on the altar of incense, something only allowed for priests.
Eighty courageous priests confronted him (26.17), and the king was enraged. But the Lord was watching, and struck the king with leprosy right there in the act. This disease remained with him the rest of his days (26.21).
His son Jotham followed. He reigned for sixteen years, and was also a godly king. “Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God” (27.6).
However, he failed to pass his faith on to his son Ahaz. Of the four who served under Isaiah, he would be the one spiritual failure, and his failure was massive.
Because of his unfaithfulness to the Lord, he suffered losses to the king of Aram (28.5), and the king of Israel (28.6). The Lord rebuked Israel for pillaging their brothers, and they sent prisoners and plunder back home (28.14-15).
After all of this, Ahaz just sank deeper into rebellion and sin (28.22). He then turned to the king of Assyria for help, hoping for help not just from him, but from false gods as well (28.23).
We finally come to good king Hezekiah in chapter 29. Judah will have one last season of spiritual health and blessing for the twenty-nine years of his tenure.
His first project was to restore the Temple (29.3). Temple worship, always central to Jewish spiritual life, was resurrected by the good king. This was an extremely wise decision to initiate the spiritual rebuild of Judah.
Notes on Song of Songs
As we close out this love song, the descriptions get graphic and intimate (e.g. 7.8, 8.2,10). The short book closes out with vivid descriptions of love and romance.