This book was written by Ezra approximately 430 B.C. recording events from the beginning of King Solomon’s reign 970 B.C. to the beginning of the Babylonian captivity 586 B.C.
2 Chronicles continues the history of 1 Chronicles. King David’s son Solomon is inaugurated as the new King. Solomon achieves much in business and government, but most importantly he was the man God used to build the glorious temple. This beautiful building was the religious centre of the nation. It symbolized the unity of all the tribes, the presence of god among them, and the nation’s high spiritual calling.
Solomon enjoyed a peaceful, prosperous and famous reign of 40 years. After Solomon dies, his son Rehoboam assumes the throne, and his immaturity divides the kingdom. 2 Chronicles focuses on the lives of the kings of Judah, the Southern Kingdom and very little is mentioned about Israel, the Northen Kingdom because:-
1. Chronicles was written for Judeans who had returned from captivity in Babylon.
2. Judah represented David’s family, from which the Messiah would eventually come. Although Israel was in a state of constant turmoil, anarchy and rebellion against God, Judah did at least try to make an effort to follow God.
Judah had a few good kings and many evil ones. 2 Chronicles records their achievements and failures, mentioning how each king measured up to God’s standard. Clearly a good king obeys God’s Law, eliminates the places of idol worship and makes no alliances with other nations. Eventually the nation is conquered and taken captive, and the Temple is destroyed.
Worship in the Temple was superbly organized, but several kings defiled the Temple and degraded worship causing the Israelites to reverence idols more highly than God. Finally, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed the Temple.
The kings were gone, the Temple destroyed and the people taken captive. The nation was stripped to its very foundation. But fortunately this was the beginning of a new and greater foundation – God himself. When everything in life seems stripped away from us, Christians must remember we also still have God – His Word, His presence and His promises.
Believers must constantly commit to obeying God. We are never secure in what others have done before us. Each generation of followers must rededicate themselves to the task of carrying out God’s will in their own lives, as well as in society.
Although our disobedience may not be as blatant as Israel’s, quite often our commitment to God is insincere and casual. When we forget that all power, wisdom and wealth comes from God and not ourselves, we are in danger of the same spiritual and moral collapse experienced by Israel.