2 Chronicles 36* The destruction of Jerusalem. (1-21) The proclamation ofCyrus. (22,23)1-21 The ruin of Judah and Jerusalem came on by degrees. Themethods God takes to call back sinners by his word, byministers, by conscience, by providences, are all instances ofhis compassion toward them, and his unwillingness that anyshould perish. See here what woful havoc sin makes, and, as wevalue the comfort and continuance of our earthly blessings, letus keep that worm from the root of them. They had many timesploughed and sowed their land in the seventh year, when itshould have rested, and now it lay unploughed and unsown for tentimes seven years. God will be no loser in his glory at last, bythe disobedience of men. If they refused to let the land rest,God would make it rest. What place, O God, shall thy justicespare, if Jerusalem has perished? If that delight of thine werecut off for wickedness, let us not be high-minded, but fear. 22,23 God had promised the restoring of the captives, and therebuilding of Jerusalem, at the end of seventy years; and thattime to favour Zion, that set time, came at last. Though God'schurch be cast down, it is not cast off; though his people becorrected, they are not abandoned; though thrown into thefurnace, they are not lost there, nor left there any longer thantill the dross be separated. Though God contend long, he willnot contend always. Before we close the books of the Chronicles,which contain a faithful register of events, think whatdesolation sin introduced into the world, nay, even into thechurch of God. Let us tremble at what is here recorded, while inthe character of some few gracious souls, we discover that theLord left not himself without witness. And when we have lookedat this faithful portrait of man by nature, let us contrast withit that same nature, when recovered by Almighty grace, throughthe justifying and soul-adorning righteousness of Christ ourSaviour.
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