“And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because he had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” II Chronicles 36:15-16
At the end of II Chronicles we find the ultimate condemnation of the Southern Kingdom, Judah. She had rejected God, His Word, and His Prophets. After Solomon dies at the end of II Chronicles 9, the idea of God, His Word and His prophets permeates the book. Prophets are there in I Chronicles and in the early section of II Chronicles. But after Solomon they become a theme. Here are most of the examples of the prophetic word coming to Judah in II Chronicles.
13:4-12 Abijah functions like a prophet
15:1-7 Azariah the prophet
16:7-9 Hanani: Killed by Asa
18:6-27 Micaiah: Imprisoned
19:2-3 Jehu functions like a prophet
20:20 Jehoshaphat tells Judah to believe the prophets
24:19 The Lord sent prophets
24:20 Zechariah: Killed by Joash
25:7-10 An anonymous man of God
25:15-16 An anonymous prophet
30:6-12 Hezekiah functions like a prophet
32:20 Isaiah is mentioned
33:18 Seers spoke to Manasseh
34:22-28 Huldah the prophetess
35:20-22 Necho, the king of Egypt is a messenger of God
Jeremiah is mentioned 4 times at the end of the book: 35:25, 36:12, 21, 22.
There are also several places where the kings function like a prophet. I have noted a few of those above.
Finally, there are a couple of examples of men, usually priests, teaching Israel: II Chronicles 17:7-10, 30:22, 35:3.
When the Lord makes the summary statement in II Chronicles 36:15-16 he is not lying. He sent them prophet after prophet after prophet. He was merciful and kind. His Word flowed throughout out the land. Yet Judah did not hear. What can we learn from this?
First, God in his mercy sends his Word to us when we stray. God’s Word often cuts us, but this cutting is the scalpel of a surgeon, not the sword of an enemy. The mercy of God is given to us every time we read his Word or hear it preached. Unfortunately, we don’t often view it that way.
Second, how we respond to this Word will determine whether or not we are destroyed. Throughout II Chronicles men respond different ways. Those who listen are blessed. Those who don’t are cursed.
Third, the humble hear God’s Word. The proud do not. (See II Chronicles 12:6-7)
Fourth, killing or silencing the prophets does not stop God’s Word. God’s Word comes true though his prophets are slain. (See especially II Chronicles 18:1-34) People who don’t want to hear God’s Word will find that His Word is still there, even if his messengers are cast out.
Fifth, leaders (husbands, fathers, pastors, elders, government officials, denominational heads) need to the lead the way in repenting and turning back to God’s Word.
Finally, God is very patient with His people when they stray. He does not usually strike them immediately. He sends his Word and waits to see if we will turn and repent. But at some point his patience does run out. At some point countries, denominations, churches, families, and individuals who reject God’s Word will find God rejecting them. This is a sobering thought that should drive us to our knees with weeping and bring us back up again ready to obey.