2 Chronicles 35-36
What does it say?
Josiah reinstated the passover celebration and set the priests in their offices and encouraged them and the Levites in the service of the house of the Lord. Josiah and the officers contributed for the people, the passover sacrifices. The Priest sacrificed the animals, sprinkling the blood, the Levites skinned and roasted them for the people. They celebrated the passover, then the feast of unleavened bread for seven days in the 18th year of Josiah’s reign. After setting the house of the Lord in order, Josiah went up against the king of Egypt in battle and died; the people lamented at his death and burial. Joahaz became king but was displaced to Egypt and Eliakim (Jehoiakim) his brother became king in his place. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon captured Jehoiakim and took him to Babylon; therefore, Jehoiachin his son became king in Jerusalem. After a brief reign, he too was taken to Babylon. Zedekiah was made king by Nebuchadnezzar but he rebelled against the Lord, ignoring the prophet Jeremiah. God had sent many prophets but they mocked the word of God and scoffed at the prophets; therefore, God gave them into the hands of the Chaldeans who killed the majority, deported those who were not killed to Babylon until the kingdom of Persia. Cyrus king of Persia made a proclamation for the people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the house of the Lord.
What does it mean?
Wisdom shouts in the street (Pr 1:20) and this is what the prophets did in Judah and Jerusalem but the people had a rebellious heart. There were brief appearances of repentance but these soon devolved into rebellion. Through Moses and the prophets the Lord God warned of blessing for keeping the law and curse for breaking the law. He also promised that after banishing them, when they turned to the Lord and obeyed him with all their heart and soul, he would have compassion on them and gather them again from where the Lord has scattered them. (Dt 30:1-5) The Lord God told Moses that he is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth. That he keeps lovingkindness for thousands. He forgives iniquity, transgression and sin but will not leave the guilty unpunished. He will pore out his wrath on the guilty which will inflict their children and grandchildren for several generations. (Ex 34:6-7) The Lord God always acts in accordance with his glory.
What shall I do?
The Lord God has promised eternal life in Jesus Christ for all who repent and believe in him. I shall publicly preach the word of the Lord as the prophets did in Israel. Jesus has commissioned the church to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mk 16:15) I shall do as the Lord has commanded, knowing that I may be mocked and the message that I love may be despised by those whom I am seeking to reach. I shall do so until the Lord returns or takes me home.