2 Chronicles 21:1–23:21
Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat became king at the age of 32. He reigned for 8 years but he wasn’t a good king. We read the reason for his rebellion against God in;
2 Chronicles 21:6 (NKJV) “And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife; and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.”
The ungodly marriages and alliances, especially into the family of Omri and Ahab, was his downfall. This family was deeply engaged in the worship of Baal, and it permeated into the Southern Kingdom of Judah. For this reason God allowed other nations to rebel – Edom, Libnah, the Philistines, and the Arabians all revolted against Judah at this time, and it was the LORD who authored it (2 Chronicles 21:16). It wasn’t just opposition nationally, it even happened to King Jehoram personally, physically. We read in:
2 Chronicles 21:18 (NKJV) “After all this the LORD struck him in his intestines with an incurable disease.”
This was something Elijah the prophet from the Northern Kingdom had warned him about in writing.
To no one’s sorrow, Jehoram died. He wasn’t even buried in the tombs of the kings.
After Jehoram, Ahaziah his son reigned in his place. He only reigned one year and was killed by Jehu, a man appointed by God to wipe out the house of Ahab, the wicked king of Israel who was married to Jezebel. We read this about Ahaziah:
2 Chronicles 22:3–4 (NKJV) “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly. 4 Therefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.”
So many warnings about who we marry, ungodly alliances, and worldly/wicked counselors. May we take these warnings to heart.
When Ahaziah died, his grandmother took the power to herself. We read in:
2 Chronicles 22:10 (NKJV) “Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah.”
Imagine that! This daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings 8:18) murdered all of her son’s descendants in order to crown herself as Queen of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the sister of King Ahaziah was able to save one of the Ahaziah’s sons (Joash) an infant at the time…and he was raised in the temple under the supervision of Jehoiada the priest.
When Joash was seven years-old, Jehoida made his move to crown Joash as king. Jehoiada was a godly man who knew the Word of the LORD. We read his declaration in:
2 Chronicles 23:3 (NKJV) “Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, ‘Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the LORD has said of the sons of David.’”
Jehoiada mustered up the support of the priests, the prominent men, and all of Judah to overthrow Athaliah and crown Joash as king. Since Joash was the rightful heir, their plan was blessed by God and Athaliah was executed. Not only did they put a crown on the head of Joash, they put a Bible into the hands of this young man (2 Chronicles 23:11). The Bible in our hands and hearts is the key to wisdom and life, for everyone, especially to leaders (see also Deuteronomy 17:18).
Isn’t it beautiful what we read in:
2 Chronicles 23:16 (NKJV) “Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the people, and the king, that they should be the LORD’s people.”
They went on to break down the altars of Baal and get rid of the ungodly influences in the nation of Judah. So all the people rejoiced, for the LORD had appointed a godly leader.
Paul warns the Gentiles not to get haughty, for just as the Jews fell, they could fall as well. We read Paul’s warning in:
Romans 11:20-21 (NKJV) “Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.”
Israel was the root, it was the original Olive Tree. We, as Gentiles were grafted into that tree, but one day God will restore Israel, they will have faith in Him. Just as the Gentiles were saved, God will save and restore the Jews, during the last 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation Period. What a blessing that will be when it takes place nationally. I’ve noticed over the years, that there’s always something special about a Jew, born anew.
Paul does not want us to be ignorant about the fact that we are living in the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24). When the fullness of the Gentiles takes place, the rapture will occur, and God will deal with Israel in the final “week” (7-year period) of the 70 weeks of Daniel (see Daniel 9:24-27).
It’s important to have a balanced view of God. To those who are comfortable, maybe even haughty, Paul tells us to consider God’s severity, His holiness. To those who are “out there,” lost and hurting, Paul tells them to consider God’s goodness, His grace. As I read my Bible, I’ve always noticed that the beautiful balance between these two attributes of God, His grace and holiness, His goodness and severity, keeps us in a balanced walk with God.
Romans 8 – Israel’s Past
Romans 9 – Israel’s Present
Romans 10 – Israel’s Future
Israel’s will be grafted back into the vine, and receive Jesus as their Messiah.
It’s challenging to understand all these things, and we will never fully comprehend the wisdom of God’s plan. Although we don’t understand it, we can rest in the fact that it’s all part of God’s plan…and God is not done with the Jews.
Paul closes his section of theology and soteriology with a beautiful doxology in Romans 11:33-36.
Romans 11:36 (NKJV) “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
Again, I sigh as I type.
This is the Psalm that prophesied the cross of Jesus Christ, 600 years before the Phoenicians even invented crucifixion. The Romans would later go on to master this form of execution, which offered the maximum amount of pain over the maximum amount of time.
Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 from the cross (Matthew 27:46). At the 9th hour (3PM), the sky was darkened, and it was then that the Father placed on Jesus all the sins, of all the world, of all time. The Father was therefore forced to turn His back on His Son. It was the first time in all eternity that the Father was separated from His Son (that’s what sin does, it separates us from God – Isaiah 59:1-2).
This is was what Jesus dreaded the most. This is why Jesus prayed for the cup to pass from Him. SUFFERING WAS THE START OF IT, SIN WAS A PART OF IT, BUT SEPARATION WAS THE HEART OF IT.
He was forsaken so that we would never have to be forsaken, if we place our faith in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:5).
They mocked and surrounded Him; His mouth was dry, His bones were dislocated, His heart was broken.
They pierced His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16).
They gambled for His clothes (Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35).
This chapter, along with Isaiah 53 are two of the most vivid prophecies of the cross. He suffered to save us, He died that we might live…may we believe and receive, and never forget the extent of His love (Romans 5:8).
Proverbs 20:7 (NKJV) “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.”
A righteous man, is a man in right relationship with God, it’s not just positional it’s practical, it’s not just talk it’s walk – and he experiences the biggest blessing in the whole wide world…his children are blessed after him.
Now does that mean that every child of a sold out and surrendered saint is always saved? No, not necessarily. Every child must make a choice. But these children have a great chance…and they will be blessed if they’re in a family whose mom and dad walked in their integrity.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.