Two-thirds of the way through the Chronicles, let’s take stock again of the author’s priorities. Genealogies and rosters filled at least half of the first book, with the priesthood and distribution of Temple duties on prominent display. The Ark and Temple narratives dominated the 80 years that David and Solomon reigned. The author shields us neither from Rehoboam’s clumsiness nor from referring to the northern tribes as “rebels.” And consequently, the only times those northern tribes are mentioned is when they intersect with Judah. By following the Davidic line almost exclusively, the author virtually ignores three-quarters of the Israelite population .
As decades sweep by, notice again what the author slows down for: Abijah’s campaign to subdue Jeroboam, Asa’s and Jehoshaphat’s reforms, the Micaiah narrative, and, today, the moment when a threat from Edom and Ammon caused Jehoshaphat to set his face to seek the LORD. The passage, recorded in chapter 20, is beautiful in its emotion and humility.
Put yourself in Jerusalem, as you notice the details: the king reminds God of His past promises and Judah’s faithfulness; that Israel had spared these kingdoms, at the LORD’s behest, during the Exodus; and that this “great horde” threatens the LORD’s possession, “which You have given us to inherit.” A prophet rises in the Spirit; the people fall to the ground in worship; and the army marches into battle with song. Listen for the line, “And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush…”
Unfortunately, Jehoshaphat walked in the way of Asa his father in both good and bad, and late in his reign he falls into the folly that undid his father. He is succeeded by Jehoram, whose treacherous eight-year reign is captured in the author’s biting epitaph: …And he departed to no one’s regret. Listen to his descent, and to the only reason his dynasty survives at all.
Our verse for this week is Matthew 25:40: And the king will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.”
2 Chronicles 19 through 21. Now let’s read it!
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’