I am so excited to begin studying the book of 2 Chronicles with you – you know why? Because the Old Testament is SO important in understanding the New Testament.
2 Chronicles is a book of history and remember history is “His Story”. It is God’s story from the beginning.
Many love to park themselves in the New Testament looking for the relevant and applicable parts of scripture for their daily lives. Most tend to skim the Old Testament and read the more popular passages, but the Old Testament is so important in understanding the very words of Jesus! Jesus referred to the Old Testament nearly 200 times. He said over and over “it is said” or “have you not heard”.
Israel knew their history so they understood Jesus’ words, but we do not. And so, 2 Chronicles is important for understanding the history of Israel – God’s people and the story of the other nations and how God has worked.
I applaud your dedication to take on the study of this history book and I pray that you will stick with me for all 36 chapters because God has a word for us!
All of God’s word is God breathed. These are the very words of God and we learn new things about God in the Old Testament that we simply cannot learn from just reading the New Testament.
God gave us 66 books of the Bible
because he wants us to read…
66 books of the Bible!
That is why we are reading through the Bible cover to cover –
one chapter a day here at Women Living Well.
So, let’s get started and look at the setting of this book before we look at the storyline.
At one time, the books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles were one book, and this book would have been found at the end of the Hebrew Bible. Remember back in 1 Chronicles chapter 1 – we began with a list of genealogies starting with Adam and Eve – so Chronicles begins at the very beginning of mankind and by the time 2 Chronicles ends… sadly, we will see the destruction of Israel.
In the final chapter of 2 Chronicles it says:
15 The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy.
17 Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or aged.
He gave them all into his hand.
2 Chronicles 36:15-17
OH friends, as we read this book of the Bible, may we remember that God tried to speak to his people over and over and they simply would not listen!
I’m afraid at times our churches today are the same!
God is speaking to us – but are we listening?
Do we have ears to hear?
Or are we too busy to be in his word or so selfish that if our study of God’s word does not bring immediate application to our daily life, we skip over it and miss out on the foundational wisdom we need for the days ahead?
May we not repeat the mistakes of Israel!
And so – we see from the verses above – this book was written after 1st and 2nd Kings and after Israel had gone into captivity around 500BC.
God Appears to Solomon
2 Chronicles opens with Solomon, the third King of Israel, taking over the throne and God appearing to Solomon and offering to give him anything he asks.
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him,
“Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
What would you answer if God asked you this question?
Solomon did not ask for possessions, wealth,
health, honor or the life of his enemies –
instead he asked for…
Wisdom and knowledge.
And so – God was pleased with Solomon’s request and he granted it.
11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”
You know – we live in the information age. We can google and find out all the information we want but information is not the same as wisdom. We probably all know very smart people who we do not consider wise in their spiritual, relational or financial choices.
Proverbs 1:7 says – “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.
So if a man does not fear God – he is not wise. We do not have to be smart or successful to be wise in the Lord’s eyes.
When was the last time – in prayer – you asked God for wisdom?
Think about your prayer requests – and in church too – how often are people asking God for wisdom?
Do we realize how much better our lives would be if we had more wisdom to handle our daily struggles, hardships and trials?
Small changes in how we handle things make a huge difference!
In James 1:5, God tells us to ask for it!
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ASK God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
In Proverbs 4:7, God tell us to get it!
The beginning of wisdom is this: GET wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, GET understanding.
If you are looking for an application of God’s word today – please have ears that hear today’s message.
- Get wisdom.
- Get understanding.
Though it cost you all you have – spend your time, spend your money, and spend your life getting wisdom. Wisdom is found first in God’s word and then also in godly counselors, pastors, godly friends and mentors, godly bloggers (wink wink) and in godly books, podcasts and sermons.
And remember – Wisdom isn’t just storing up knowledge in your mind and heart. It is then applying the wisdom and knowledge you have learned — to your daily life.
So together – let’s ask God for wisdom today and keep walking with the king!
Ps. I’m sorry I wrote so much about the setting, that we did not get to the storyline of the building of the Temple – so next Friday we’ll be sure to talk all about it! I can’t wait –but until then – stay faithful – keep digging into God’s word! I’ll see you back here this Monday. <3
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(for ages 10-110)