2 Chronicles 33-36
Summary: After the reign of Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 29-32, these chapters walk us through the reigns of Manasseh (Hezekiah’s son), then Amon (Manasseh’s son), then Josiah (Amon’s son), then Jehoahaz (Josiah’s son), then Jehoiakim (Jehoahaz’s brother, once named Eliakim), then Jehoiachin (Jehoiakim’s son), then Zedekiah (Jehoiachin’s uncle). Jerusalem went through a major time of turmoil during the reigns of these men. Manasseh “did evil in the eyes of the Lord…” (33:2) He essentially restored all of the altars to Baal and Asherah poles that his father Hezekiah had done away with and led Jerusalem away from God. But God sent the King of Assyria to take Manasseh prisoner. Manasseh cried out to the Lord and humbled himself, pleading for him to restore him. And the Lord did.
After Manasseh died, his son Amon also did evil in the eyes of the Lord and was assassinated by his people. King Josiah, who was only 8 years old when he began his reign, was a good king. During Josiah’s reign, priests found the Books of the Law given to Moses. “When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.” (34:19) Just like with Manasseh, God responded to King Josiah’s humble behavior: “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord.” (34:27) Then Josiah destroyed all of the idols remaining.
Then followed more kings who did evil in the eyes of the Lord and His wrath overflowed. He brought the King Nebuchadnezzar against them and Jerusalem fell.
What is one key verse?
2 Chronicles 33:12-13 – “In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.”
I feel that this is a key verse because it shows us that even when we do horrible, despicable things, we can be redeemed if we humble ourselves before the Lord and ask for his forgiveness.
How does what you read change your vision of God? I feel like the fall of Jerusalem reminds me of Adam and Eve’s exile from Eden, the Flood, and the Exodus in that they are all examples of God being merciful for so long that he eventually has to allow something painful to happen to the people. And I feel that my vision of God has changed because of these moments in history because I see Him more as a parent trying so very hard to keep his children on the right path, but eventually having to let them fall and learn from their mistakes.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? God’s actions reinforce in me how difficult it is to be a parent, but I need to be kinder to myself when it comes to my perceived parenting “fails”.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? I will strive to be more merciful and offer more grace in my parenting.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? I saw Jesus in King Josiah and his steadfast love and commitment to doing good for the Lord.