Larry Crabb’s 14th Love Letter)

Real trust develops in the dark

God wants us to think more about how we are relating to Him and others than about how to get our lives together.
God says He must do whatever is necessary to destroy the evil within our depths, where we desire the good life more than we want Him, we must replace that idolatrist desire with the holy yearning to know Him at any cost in the midst of our worst pain only then will eternal joy be possible.
Things like bombs and cancer are natural evils.
He allows natural evils as part of the process of destroying moral evils (for example courtesy without connection or laughter without love or weeping without worship) within us
– Solomon’s sin in this book started when he married Pharaoh’s daughter which eventually led to building places to the worship of the false gods of his many godless wives.
– ASA did what he could to eliminate false worship.
– Jehoshaphat led God’s people in temple worship when enemies threatened them.
– Joash, in his early days, displayed great zeal in repairing the temple.
– Hezekiah’s resolve to live holy in the temple merited three chapters.
– Josiah, after discovering God’s long neglected instructions for worship led God’s people in the greatest Passover ever celebrated.

Don’t look for experts to coach you in how to make your life work before you follow elders who will lead you into His presence.

2 CHRONICLES: God’s King in God’s House – From Ray Stedman<-(click here for entire Bible summary)

This book gives us a picture of God’s king walking in the light of God’s house. That is the secret of blessing in the kingdom.

It is the example of Christ’s life that teaches us the principles by which God expects us to walk after we are redeemed. These books picture for us our own will

as king of our kingdom. The secret of blessing and victory in the Christian life is to subject the will to the temple of God, which is the human spirit in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit.

People came to Jerusalem from all over the earth to hear and to learn the secret of God’s activity. This is a picture for us of God’s own supreme method of evangelism. Every believer, wherever he is in the world, is to be living this kind of life with the Spirit of God inhabiting the temple and in control of the will. When believers are walking in obedience to the indwelling Spirit, people round about will ask, “What is there about these
people? I want to know what this is all about.”
When the Queen of Sheba had been with Solomon, she said, “The half was never told me. I never dreamed it could be like this,” {cf, 2 Chr 9:5-6}.

Chapters 10 through 36 go on to give us the record of the kings of Judah up to the time of the captivity of this kingdom. Nine of them were good kings and eleven were bad. Manasseh, who reigned for fifty-five years on the throne of Judah, started out as the worst king in Judah’s history and ended up as one of the best, as God reached him, re-
deemed him, and restored him.

As you read through these accounts, the bad kings reveal the pattern of temptation and evil in a disobedient heart. There is a declining standard.

Jealousy was next. First, there was the refusal to give heed to good advice. Then a deaf ear was turned to the Law. Now, the spirit of jealousy begins to assault the kingdom.

We sometimes wonder why we fall prey to so many of the afflictions and oppressions – neuroses and psychoses – of our day. It is because the defenses of the temple are destroyed. Some inner idolatry is weakening us and we find ourselves defenseless against these invaders of the spirit that bring us into depression, frustration, defeat, and
darkness. All the way through this book there is a constant battle against the flood of wicked practices during the reign of these kings.
By contrast, the good kings reflect the grace of God in cleansing and restoring and they also reveal the instruments that he uses. There are five great reformations recorded in Israel as God seeks to arrest this deteriorating process in the nation and bring it back to the place of glory and blessing as in the days of David and Solomon.

The forsaking is never that he gives you over completely to be lost. He forsakes in the
sense of not providing any power, or victory, or ability to walk. This is the same as the New Testament teaches, isn’t it? It declares that God is fully available to you if you are prepared to be fully available to him. Paul says in Philippians, “I press on to make it [the power of his resurrection] my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own,” (Phil 3:12b RSV)

Or, “I long to be as fully available to him as he is prepared to be available to me.” That is always the secret of real power. This was declared to King Asa for his benefit and for ours.

Each of these kings who leads a restoration shows us a different principle of restoration.

In Asa we find the determination to obey the Law.

Jehoshaphat cleans out the idols of the land.

King Joash, the third restoration of Israel was by the collection of taxes on all things.

used. No matter what it may be, this is

the principle of return and restitution.

Then in Hezekiah’s reign is the fourth principle of restoration, the cleansing of the temple.

Then in Josiah, the last good king of Judah, you find the last principle of restoration.

Now go back for a moment to the early chapters and look again at that wonderful scene when Solomon, in all his royal robes of glory, is kneeling before the people and praying to the God of heaven. The whole kingdom is at peace. All the peoples around him are at peace and the fame of this kingdom has gone out to the ends of the earth. The fire of God comes
down from heaven and the glory of God fills the whole of the temple like a cloud – what a marvelous sight. Then think of this final scene, with the temple lying in ruins, the city destroyed, the people slaves and bondservants in a foreign country, and the whole of the land given over to its enemies.
This is the picture that God draws for us of what can happen when the heart walks in disobedience. Yet God’s patience is visible in the whole story of this book – how he intervenes, again and again, to call his people back.

2nd Chronicles – David Jeremiah (Understanding the 66 Books of the Bible)

Key thought: God is determined to have a temple, a dwelling place for His glory on earth.

Key Verse: Thus says Cyrus King of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up! ” 2 Chronicles 36:23

Key Action: Glorify God in the temple where he resides — in your body and spirit.