Summary: We can use the Historical Books of the Old Testament to understand God’s faithfulness, his loving discipline, and how our obedience to him can draw others to faith.
• SLIDE #1
• Last week we began our series, Binge Reading the Bible, by examining the Pentateuch.
• We learned that the Pentateuch is the foundation of what we know about God, and it is the foundation of our faith.
• We should have noticed that God’s desire for people to love and to be devoted to Him.
• Today, we move on to the historical books.
• This section of the Bible makes up the twelve books that record a historical narrative of events in the lives of the children of Israel; Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, and Esther.
• This history includes the possession and loss of the land of Canaan, the rule of judges and kings, the division of kingdoms, the exiles, and a return to Jerusalem.
• To understand the Historical Books, we must look at them as a cohesive narrative rooted in Israel and Judah's back-and-forth movement between obedience and disobedience.
• In a nutshell, the Historical Books contain a cycle of Israel’s rebellion, God’s judgment, Israel’s repentance, and God’s deliverance.
• This cycle plays itself out in a very public way in the book of Judges.
• God’s revelation of himself and his will within this portion of Scripture is revealed through imposing his statutes through a variety of means.
• Within the Historical Books, these means consist of men and women he raised up, like Joshua, the judges, prophets, kings, and Queen Esther.
• These individuals all represent the medium by which God imposes his statutes, all the while revealing repetitive cycles, including Israel's disobedience, followed by judgment, followed by their turnaround and repentance.
• The two books of Chronicles detail the underlying context of much of what takes place in the later Historical Books and can be seen as a parallel to much of the history that is recorded. (Intro section comes from Ministry Pass. www.ministrypass.com)
• One thing we have to keep in mind with this passage is the context.
• The context for our passage today is the Lord tells Solomon he is pleased with the recently built Temple and gives an answer to the king regarding how he will forgive the people them once they have repented.
• This passage was God’s response to Solomon’s lengthy prayer as he is dedicating the newly built Temple to the Lord.
• God’s message divides into two parts. First, God speaks to Solomon (2 Chr 7:11–18) in response to his prayer.
• Second, God speaks to the people (2 Chr 7:19–22).
• The second part is particularly appropriate for a postexilic community, which still sees the visible evidence of God's devastation in Jerusalem, but the first part reminds that community of God's merciful disposition. Given the devastation (2 Chr 7:19–22), the people should humble themselves and trust God’s grace (2 Chr 7:13–14). (College Press Commentary 1 & 2 Chronicles).
• Even though the context limits this passage to Solomon, the nation of Israel, and the Temple, the principles are valid for us here today.
• Today we will see that God shows his faithfulness to his word given to Israel by blessing and judging them based on their loyalty to or rebellion from him.
• God is faithful to both the good promises as well as the bad.
• This message also builds on what the love and loyalty that God wants from us look like in life, not just on paper.
• Let’s turn to 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 to begin.
• SLIDE #2
• 2 Chronicles 7:12–14 (CSB) — 12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifice. 13 If I shut the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on my people, 14 and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
• SLIDE #3
I. God’s desire.
• One of the things we know about God is that He detests sin and that when we commit our first sin, it kills us spiritually and separates us from fellowship with God.
• Now, knowing when He created us that we would choose to sin, we can surmise that when God created us, He KNEW we would sin and rebel against Him.
• Yet, here we are.
• God is the same God yesterday, today, and always.
• God’s desire is simple.
• SLIDE #4
• 1 Timothy 2:3–4 (CSB) — 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.