2 Chronicles 36

* The destruction of Jerusalem. (1-21) The proclamation of

Cyrus. (22,23)

1-21 The ruin of Judah and Jerusalem came on by degrees. The

methods God takes to call back sinners by his word, by

ministers, by conscience, by providences, are all instances of

his compassion toward them, and his unwillingness that any

should perish. See here what woful havoc sin makes, and, as we

value the comfort and continuance of our earthly blessings, let

us keep that worm from the root of them. They had many times

ploughed and sowed their land in the seventh year, when it

should have rested, and now it lay unploughed and unsown for ten

times seven years. God will be no loser in his glory at last, by

the disobedience of men. If they refused to let the land rest,

God would make it rest. What place, O God, shall thy justice

spare, if Jerusalem has perished? If that delight of thine were

cut off for wickedness, let us not be high-minded, but fear.
22,23 God had promised the restoring of the captives, and the

rebuilding of Jerusalem, at the end of seventy years; and that

time to favour Zion, that set time, came at last. Though God's

church be cast down, it is not cast off; though his people be

corrected, they are not abandoned; though thrown into the

furnace, they are not lost there, nor left there any longer than

till the dross be separated. Though God contend long, he will

not contend always. Before we close the books of the Chronicles,

which contain a faithful register of events, think what

desolation sin introduced into the world, nay, even into the

church of God. Let us tremble at what is here recorded, while in

the character of some few gracious souls, we discover that the

Lord left not himself without witness. And when we have looked

at this faithful portrait of man by nature, let us contrast with

it that same nature, when recovered by Almighty grace, through

the justifying and soul-adorning righteousness of Christ our

Saviour.

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