2-3-2-2-Know Your Students
Know Your Adults. Adults can learn – and if they are to be useful to the cause of Christ, they must learn.
Test of Go’s love.
The real test of this love and respect is the submission of our wills and actions to his desires. We show our love, by desiring to do and actually doing everything desired by the person we love.
We will be looking at the specific ways we show our love and respect. Two of the ways we will concentrate on our beliefs and our actions.
This will be done, by looking at what has revealed about him and what he expects of us. We will be looking and discussing various information reflecting the signs of beauty, truth, goodness, justice, and compassion of our Father in Heaven.
Each time God helps us through a moral dilemma; we become a little stronger, a little better, a little closer to him. God allows us to have moral dilemmas not to destroy us, but to make us whole.
How do you plan on mastering your moral dilemmas (e.g. money)?
We will look at his Justice and Love. God exercises his justice because he loves. It is for our own good and the rest of his children; that he will not tolerate our rebellion against him. He acts in order to bring us back to him and to our true selves. He becomes angry because he cares for us and cannot stand seeing us hurting ourselves and slowing our growth to reach our ultimate goal. He wants to also see us live as the human’s he created us as; created for meaningful human lives. We only have to look at the following verses to see this: (Amos 3:2), (Proverbs 3:12), (Hebrews 12:6), (Revelation 3:19), (Romans 6:23), (Psalm 139).
(Christian Doctrine-Shirley C. Guthrie, Jr.)”God treats men as persons. That means, he wants a two-way relationship. he speaks and he wants an answer. He loves and he wants to be loved in return. He commands and he wants obedience.
“If you turn to God, he will turn to you. his love, help and life-renewing power are available to all, but effective only for those who ask for it. Or to put it another way, Christ achieved potential salvation for all men, but it becomes real salvation only for those who decide to believe in him, depend on Him and follow him.
“Was it not emphasized in the Old Testament covenant that ‘it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he commanded us’ (Deuteronomy 6:25)? Did not the prophets promise God’s favor ‘if you are willing and obedient’ (Isaiah 1:19)? Dose the new Testament not teach that ‘whoever calls on the Lord shall be saved’ (Acts 2:21)?”
What are some of the ways we “try to keep God boxed up and out of everyday affairs?”
2 Chronicles Book Overview
Historic al Background
After the glory days of Israel under Solomon, warfare and unrest divide the nation, the people forsake temple worship for idols, and they lose their national identity when Jerusalem is totally destroyed in 580 B.C. Along the way, the southern kingdom of Judah is led into slow decline by evil kings and, alternately, into periods of spiritual reformation and restored national pride by Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, and Josiah. Judah’s slow decline (and the chronicler’s account) ends wit the exile, but a “postscript” gives us a brief glimpse of future restoration.
|Purpose:||To unify the nation around true worship of God by showing his standard for judging kings. The righteous kings of Judah and the religious revivals under their rule are highlighted, and the sins of the evil kings are exposed.|
|Author:||Ezra, according to Jewish tradition|
|To Whom Written:||All Israel|
|Date Written:||Approximately 430 b.c., recording events from the beginning of Solomon’s reign (970 b.c.) to the beginning of the Babylonian captivity (586 b.c.)|
|Setting:||Second Chronicles parallels 1 and 2 Kings and serves as their commentary. Originally 1 and 2 Chronicles were one book. It was written after the Exile from a priestly perspective, highlighting the importance of the Temple and the religious revivals in Judah. The northern kingdom, Israel, is virtually ignored in this history.|
|Key Verse:||“Then 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” (7:14).|
|Key People:||Solomon, the queen of Sheba, Rehoboam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Joash, Uzziah (Azariah), Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah|
|Key Places:||Jerusalem, the Temple|
|Special Features:||Includes a detailed record of the Temple’s construction|
A friend tells me of the time his five-year-old daughter took inventory of her friends.
Seems she took a tumble down the stairs abd banged her head on the wall. Her mom rushed her to the emergency room and, though the injury wasn’t severe, the doctor felt it wise to keep her overnight for observation. So the little girl spent the night in the hospital.
The next morning they took her home, and the dad carried her upstairs and put her in bed for a nap. As he closed the door he heard her voice. At first he thought she was speaking to him, so he stopped to listen.
“Sleepy? Grumpy? Dopey?”
My friend smiled. Painted on his daughter’s bedroom wall were the characters from the Snow White story. For his daughter they were more than characters, however, they were friends. Every day she spent time talking to them. The dad knew what she was doing. “She was taking inventory of her friends,” he said. “She’d been through a rough night and just wanted to make sure they were okay.”
God has been known to do that. His people have a tendency to take tumbles. Some of those tumbles are severe. Second chronicles will give you a few examples.
They aren’t very pretty.
Some are very shameful. Still, they are his children and every so often he takes inventory of those who matter to him.
Buried in this large quary called Chronicles are several jewe3ls worth mining.
Here are two of the finest:
Then if my people, who are called by my name, are sorry for what they have done, if they pray and obey me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land(7:14).
The Lord searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to him. He wants to make them strong (16:9).
Keep these verses in your hip pocket. You never know when you may take a spill yourself. These words might be just what you need to get back on your feet.
The slide clicks, and our eyes focus on the image flashed onto the screen in the darkened sanctuary. “This idol,” explains the missionary, “is made of stone and is worshiped daily. The natives believe that this will guarantee good crops and healthy children.” With condescending smiles, we wonder at their ignorance. How could anyone worship an object? Idols are for the naive and the superstitious! But after the presentation, we return home to our idols of wealth, prestige, or self-fulfillment. If we put anything in God’s place, we worship it, despite what we profess with our lips.
Our experience parallels Israel’s. They were chosen by God to represent him on earth. But too often they forgot the truth and their calling, stumbling blindly after idols as the neighboring nations did. Then prophets, priests, and judgment would push them abruptly back to the one true God. Second Chronicles relates this sordid history of Judah’s corrupt and idolatrous kings. Here and there a good king would arise in Judah, and for a time there would be revival, but the downward spiral would continue—ending in chaos, destruction, and captivity.
The chronicler writes this volume to bring the people of Israel back to God by reminding them of their past. Only by following God would they prosper! As you read 2 Chronicles, you will catch a vivid glimpse of Judah’s history (the history of Israel, the northern kingdom, is virtually ignored), and you will see the tragic results of idolatry. Learn the lessons of the past: Determine to get rid of any idols in your life and to worship God alone.
Second Chronicles continues the history of 1 Chronicles. David’s son Solomon was inaugurated as king. Solomon built the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem, thus fulfilling his father’s wish and last request (chapters 2–5). Solomon enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous reign of 40 years that made him world famous. After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam assumed the throne, and his immaturity divided the kingdom.
In Judah there were a few good kings and many evil ones. The writer of Chronicles faithfully records their achievements and failures, noting how each king measured up to God’s standard for success. Clearly a good king obeyed God’s laws, eliminated the places of idol worship, and made no alliances with other nations. Judah’s good kings include Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah (Azariah), Hezekiah, and Josiah. Of its many evil ones, Ahaz and Manasseh were perhaps the worst. Eventually the nation was conquered and taken captive, and the Temple was destroyed.
The writer’s purpose was to reunite the nation around the true worship of God after the captivity. In these pages, he reminds the people of their past. He clearly broadcasts his message through one of the best-known verses in Scripture, “Then 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” (7:14). As you read 2 Chronicles, listen to God’s voice and obey him; and receive his redemptive, healing touch.
|A. The Reign of Solomon (1:1–9:31)
1. Solomon asks for wisdom
2. Solomon builds the Temple
3. Solomon dedicates the Temple
4. Solomon’s riches and wisdom
|Solomon achieved much in business and government, but most important, he was the man God used to build the glorious Temple. This beautiful building was the religious center of the nation. It symbolized the unity of all the tribes, the presence of God among them, and the nation’s high calling. We may achieve great things in life, but we must not neglect any effort that will help nurture God’s people or bring others into God’s Kingdom. It is easy for us to get the wrong perspective on what’s really important in life.|
|B. The Kingdom of Judah (10:1–36:23)
1. The northern tribes revolt
2. History of apostasy and reform
3. Judah is exiled to Babylon
|Throughout the reigns of 20 kings, the nation of Judah wavered between obedience to God and apostasy. The reigning king’s response to God determined the spiritual climate of the nation and whether or not God would send judgment upon his people. Our personal history is shaped by our response to God. Just as Judah’s failure to repent brought them captivity in Babylon, so the abuse of our high calling by sinful living will ultimately bring us catastrophe and destruction.|
|Temple||The Temple was the symbol of God’s presence and the place set aside for worship and prayer. Built by Solomon from the plans God gave to David, the Temple was the spiritual center of the nation.||As Christians meet together to worship God, they experience the presence of God in a way that no individual believer can, for the dwelling place of God is the people of God. The body of Christ is God’s temple.|
|Peace||As Solomon and his descendants were faithful to God, they experienced victory in battle, success in government, and peace with other nations. Peace was the result of the people being unified and loyal to God and his law.||Only God can bring true peace. God is greater than any enemy, army, or nation. Just as Israel’s faithful response was key to her peace and survival as a nation, so our obedience to God as individuals and nations is vital to peace today.|
|Prayer||After Solomon died, David’s kingdom was divided. When a king led the Israelites into idolatry, the nation suffered. When the king and his people prayed to God for deliverance and they turned from their sinful ways, God delivered them.||God still answers prayer today. We have God’s promise that if we humble ourselves, seek him, turn from our sin, and pray, God will hear, heal, and forgive us. If we are alert, we can pray for God’s guidance before we get into trouble.|
|Reform||Although idolatry and injustice were common, some kings turned to God and led the people in spiritual revival—renewing their commitment to God and reforming their society. Revival included the destruction of idols, obedience to the law, and the restoration of the priesthood.||We must constantly commit ourselves to obeying God. We are never secure in what others have done before us. Believers in each generation must dedicate themselves to the task of carrying out God’s will in their own lives as well as in society.|
|National Collapse||In 586 b.c. the Babylonians completely destroyed Solomon’s beautiful Temple. The formal worship of God was ended. The Israelites had abandoned God. As a result, God brought judgment upon his people, and they were carried off into captivity.||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 our power, wisdom, and wealth come from God and not ourselves, we are in danger of the same spiritual and moral collapse that Israel experienced.|
Key Places in 2 Chronicles
1 Gibeon David’s son Solomon became king over Israel. He summoned the nation’s leaders to a ceremony in Gibeon. Here God told Solomon to ask for whatever he desired. Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to rule Israel (1:1-12).
2 Jerusalem After the ceremony in Gibeon, Solomon returned to the capital city, Jerusalem. His reign began a golden age for Israel. Solomon implemented the plans for the Temple, which had been drawn up by his father, David. It was a magnificent construction. It symbolized Solomon’s wealth and wisdom, which became known worldwide (1:13–9:31).
3 Shechem After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam was ready to be crowned in Shechem. However, his promise of higher taxes and harder work for the people led to rebellion. Everyone but the tribes of Judah and Benjamin deserted Rehoboam and set up their own kingdom to the north called Israel. Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem as ruler over the southern kingdom called Judah (10:1–12:16). The remainder of 2 Chronicles records the history of Judah.
4 Hill Country of Ephraim Abijah became the next king of Judah, and soon war broke out between Israel and Judah. When the armies of the two nations arrived for battle in the hill country of Ephraim, Israel had twice as many troops as Judah. It looked like Judah’s defeat was certain. But they cried out to God, and God gave them victory over Israel. In their history as separate nations, Judah had a few godly kings, who instituted reforms and brought the people back to God. Israel, however, had a succession of only evil kings (13:1-22).
5 Aram (Syria) Asa, a godly king, removed every trace of pagan worship from Judah and renewed the people’s covenant with God in Jerusalem. But King Baasha of Israel built a fortress to control traffic into Judah. Instead of looking to God for guidance, Asa took the silver and gold from the Temple and sent it to the king of Aram, requesting his help against King Baasha. As a result, God became angry with Judah (14:1–16:14).
6 Samaria Although Jehoshaphat was a godly king, he allied himself with Israel’s most evil king, Ahab. Ahab’s capital was Samaria. Ahab wanted help fighting against Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat wanted advice, but rather than listening to God’s prophet who had promised defeat, he joined Ahab in battle (17:1–18:27).
7 Ramoth-gilead The alliance with Israel against Ramoth-gilead ended in defeat and Ahab’s death. Shaken by his defeat, Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem and to God. But his son Jehoram was a wicked king, as was his son Ahaziah, and history repeated itself. Ahaziah formed an alliance with Israel’s king Joram to do battle with the Arameans at Ramoth-gilead. This led to the death of both kings (18:28–22:9).
8 Jerusalem The rest of Judah’s history recorded in 2 Chronicles centers on Jerusalem. Some kings caused Judah to sin by bringing idol worship into their midst. Others cleaned up the idol worship, reopened and restored the Temple, and in the case of Josiah, tried to follow God’s laws as they were written by Moses. In spite of the few good influences, a series of evil kings sent Judah into a downward spiral that ended with the Babylonian Empire overrunning the country. The Temple was burned, the walls of the city were broken down, and the people were deported to Babylon.
The3 major interests of 1 Chronicles – the Davidic dynasty and the temple worship – are continued in 2 Chronicles. Compared to the colorful stories in the books of Samuel and Kings, the chronicler has written a blander account. The stains of David’s or Solomon’s past are not given attention. Instead, the great wealth, worldwide acclaim, political stability, and magnificent temple get full page treatment (ch, 1-9). Each king is evaluated on his response to God, especially as to worship of God and obedience to the law. Those who introduce reforms are given top billing and the nature of their reforms is described in some detail.
1 A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.
2 Those who follow the right path fear the Lord; those who take the wrong path despise him.
3 The talk of fools is a rod for their backs,£ but the words of the wise keep them out of trouble.
4 An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable.
5 A truthful witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies.
6 A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.
7 Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge there.
8 The wise look ahead to see what is coming, but fools deceive themselves.
9Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
10Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will perish, but the tent of the godly will flourish.
12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart; when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
14 Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.
15Only simpletons believe everything they are told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.
16 The wise are cautious£ and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with great confidence.
17 Those who are short-tempered do foolish things, and schemers are hated.
18The simpleton is clothed with folly, but the wise person is crowned with knowledge.
19 Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly.
20 The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.”
21 It is sin to despise one’s neighbors; blessed are those who help the poor.
22 If you plot evil, you will be lost; but if you plan good, you will be granted unfailing love and faithfulness.
23Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!
24Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor.
26 Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a place of refuge for their children.
27 Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.
28A growing population is a king’s glory; a dwindling nation is his doom.
29 Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes.
30A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away.
31 Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who help the poor honor him.
32 The wicked are crushed by their sins, but the godly have a refuge when they die.
33Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not£ found among fools.
34Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
35 A king rejoices in servants who know what they are doing; he is angry with those who cause trouble.
When a farmer has no oxen, the stable will be clean, but he will be unable to make a living. The only way to keep your life free of people problems is to keep it free of people. But if your life is empty of people, it is useless; and if you live only for yourself, your life loses its meaning. Instead of avoiding people, we should serve others, share our faith, and work for justice. Is your life clean but empty? Or does it give evidence of your serving God wholeheartedly?
We all know mockers, people who scoff at every word of instruction or advice. They never find wisdom because they don’t seek it seriously. Wisdom comes to those who apply God’s Word to their lives and seek out godly counselors. If the wisdom you need does not come easily to you, perhaps your attitude is the barrier.
The “path … that seems right” may offer many options and require few sacrifices. Easy choices, however, should make us take a second look. Is this solution attractive because it allows me to be lazy? because it doesn’t ask me to change my life-style? because it requires no moral restraints? The right choice often requires hard work and self-sacrifice. Don’t be enticed by apparent shortcuts that seem right but end in death.
A nasty and quick temper can be like a fire out of control. It can burn us and everyone else in its path. Anger divides people. It pushes us into hasty decisions that only cause bitterness and guilt. Yet anger, in itself, is not wrong. Anger can be a legitimate reaction to injustice and sin. When you feel yourself getting angry, look for the cause. Are you reacting to an evil situation that you are going to set right? Or are you responding selfishly to a personal insult? Pray that God will help you control a quick temper, channeling your feelings into effective action and conquering selfish anger through humility and repentance.
God has a special concern for the poor. He insists that people who have material goods should be generous with those who are needy. Providing for the poor is not just a suggestion in the Bible; it is a command that may require a change of attitude (see Leviticus 23:22; Deuteronomy 15:7, 8; Psalms 113:5-9; 146:5-9; Isaiah 58:7; 2 Corinthians 9:9; James 2:1-9).