The book of Chronicles describes kings as whole-hearted, half-hearted, or evil in the sight of God. In the Bible, a king’s faithfulness to God determined if his reign was one of victory or defeat.
King Saul, looked really good, but didn’t love and serve God with his heart. He lived a tormented life and God took his kingdom away.
King David, messed up bad, but loved God faithfully with humility. David was a warrior, and fought intense battles most of his life. The Bible has many stories of his victories. The stories are characterized by, “David asked the Lord if he should go to battle. God said yes, and I will fight for you.” Whenever God fought for David, they won.
Of the numerous kings that followed David, none loved God as much as he did. A few were close, but most were either half-hearted or evil.
The book of 2 Chronicles lists the lives of many kings of Judah. We can see that God responded differently to each king. God warned Israel for over 400 years to repent. For only brief periods did they seek God, usually they ignored God. After many, many chances, God allowed them to be defeated.
- 966-959 B.C. The temple of God was completed and Solomon prayed,
"O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth.
You keep your promises and show unfailing
love to all who obey you and are eager to do your will."
2 Chronicles 6:14
- Some nights later God appeared to Solomon and said,
“if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked
ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land…. But if you abandon me and disobey the
laws and commands I have given you, and if you go and worship other gods, then I will uproot the people of Israel from
this land of mine that I have given them. ... And though this Temple is impressive now, it will become an appalling sight
to all who pass by. They will ask, ‘Why has the Lord done such terrible things to his land and to his Temple?’ And the
answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt,
and they worshiped other gods instead. That is why he brought all these disasters upon them.’”
2 Chronicles 7:12-22
- Fifty years later, about 910 B.C., Azariah says to King Asa,
"The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! But if you abandon him, he will abandon you."
2 Chronicles 15:2
- Later in King Asa’s reign,
“Eagerly they sought after God, and they found him. And the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side.”
2 Chronicles 15:15
- During the reign of King Joash, about 840-800 B.C., Zechariah said this,
“This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands so that you cannot prosper?
You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!”
2 Chronicles 24:20
- During the reign of King Amaziah, about 800 B.C.–790 B.C. the prophet said to him,
“If you let them go with your troops into battle, you will be defeated no matter how well you fight.
God will overthrow you, for he has the power to help or to frustrate.”
2 Chronicles 25:8
- King Uzziah, the son of Amaziah, reigned 52 years starting in 792 B.C.,
"And as long as the king sought the Lord, God gave him success."
2 Chronicles 26:5
- King Hezekiah, reigned for 29 years beginning in 715 B.C. We read,
“Do not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, and became an object of derision…. Do not be
stubborn as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord…. Worship the Lord so that his fierce anger will turn away
from you. For if you return to the Lord, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors and
they will be able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not
continue to turn his face from you.”
2 Chronicles 30:7-9
“The Lord spoke to King Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. So the Lord sent the Assyrian armies and they took Manasseh prisoner...But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and cried out humbly to the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request for help…. Manasseh had finally realized thatthe Lord alone is God.”
2 Chronicles 33:10-13
- In 586 B.C. nearly four hundred years after the temple was finished,
“King Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord…. The Lord...repeatedly sent his prophets to
warn them, for He had compassion on his people and His temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and
despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord’s anger could no longer be restrained and there was
no remedy. So the Lord brought the king of Babylon against them. ...They had no pity on the people, killing both
young and old, men and women, healthy and sick. God handed them all over to Nebuchadnezzar.”
2 Chronicles 36:13-17
These are just a few instances in the lives of the kings of Judah listed in 2 Chronicles.
Over and over we see the God of the universe and how he responds to his people. Paul tells it this way in Romans 11:22, “Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe to those who disobeyed, but kind to you as you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.”
God is faithful. As we see in this chronological list that God warned and pleaded with His people not to abandon but to follow him so that their lives would be victorious. And true to his words to Solomon, God destroyed the temple and the people were taken captive by a conquering army. God was patient waiting and waiting for the people to repent. He didn’t want to destroy them.
Each generation of people have the same choice, if we will humbly choose to drop to our knees and call on God, He will help us.
Our lives can be victorious rather than defeated.
When we ignore and abandon God, we will be defeated by our enemies.
We have many enemies in this world. Seen and unseen. If the picture in the Old Testament is for us to apply to our lives, then our commitment to Jesus Christ means everything in our winning in life.
Who Does God Fight For?