Today’s reading can be heard on mp3 audio at files.me.com/parklinscomb/c8obeq.mp3.
Chapters 35 and 36 bring the book of 2 Chronicles to a close with the last few years of the kingdom of Judah. It’s a rapid drop from the pinnacle event of the Passover that topped all others (35:18) to the Judean exile at the hands of the Babylonians; so, hang on to your hat as you read through.
All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah — Although it is a common assumption by many in leadership (from presidents to parents) that enforcing what is right will make that leader unpopular, history (sacred and secular) argues forcefully against that assumption. Josiah made a lot of changes, torn down a lot of someone’s idols, altars, and high places. He brought sweeping changes in Judah’s devotion to the LORD. He’s bound to have made more than a few people unhappy. But time proved the wisdom of his righteous rule to the nation. Lincoln made a lot of enemies during his lifetime, but he remains one of the most beloved US presidents of all time — by doing what was right. Many a parent is thanked later by a grateful child — once the child gets to be about 25 — by doing what is right. All Judah was sorry to see Josiah pass away, unlike a number of other evil kings.
Until there was no remedy — God had sent prophets to the kings and people of Judah (and Israel) by the scores, but instead of turning around, they tended to be ignored at best and mocked, despised, scoffed, and sometimes killed them at worst. Judah and Israel simply hardened their hearts. There comes a time, regrettably, when a person’s (or a people’s) sinfulness has advanced beyond repentance, the point of no return. The New Testament speaks of it this way: “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” Hebrews 10:26, NAS95. Or put another way, until there was no remedy. All the more reason to reconcile with God today.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.