Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Want a good, fascinating book to curl up with on a cold, dark night? Take Second Chronicles, and follow the narrative all the way through from King Solomon's humble prayer for wisdom in chapter 1 to the cataclysmic extinction of the kingdom which he inherited from David in chapter 36--the most humiliating divine punishment any nation has ever suffered.
Solomon's glory is almost unbelievable; but his abuses of power contributed to the revolt of ten tribes into the Northern Kingdom (Israel; they never at any time were blessed with even one king who was loyal to the Lord!).
Then the story of the southern kingdom (Judah) is one constant see-saw between royal efforts to be loyal to God's calling (like Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, or Josiah) and the other kings who promptly would lead the spineless people back into the gross idolatry and immorality of the pagan nations. They never learned until Solomon's glorious temple was burned and their 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
You hold your breath as you wonder what can possibly come next. The unknown author provides a running commentary straight from the Lord, praising one king, damning another. It's divine Judgment Day constantly.
You keep wondering, "What could possibly have gone wrong that the one nation that the Lord had chosen to be His soul-winning agency to enlighten the world, Abraham's descendants, could have failed so miserably?"
There are telltale signs that pop up continually. Even in their best glory days their motive for serving the Lord is revealed as always egocentric. Do what's right, and you reap a great reward! It pays to serve Him! (You start feeling uncomfortable, wondering what your motive is!)
Nothing but the Old Covenant which their fathers had chosen to bring upon themselves at Mount Sinai can explain this constant confusion. That mindset governed their relationship to the Lord. Jeremiah said that the coming of the New Covenant was still future in his day (31:31, 32).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 29, 2006.
Copyright © 2016 by "Dial Daily Bread."