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Using the Past to Look Forward

Hey Relentless Students! I hope you are all out enjoying the sun and being able to find some way to get outside and be active. It's a great day for a hike or nature walk, so definitely get out there!

Today we are continuing our trek through the Bible, landing in 2 Chronicles. As has been said a few times, this book is reminding the people of the past and is repeating ALOT of what was said in 1 & 2 Kings. This book for many non-Christians can be the reason the Bible contradicts itself as there are many of the same stories, but told differently. This all has to do with perspective.

Think about the last time you were really angry with your mom or dad. What happened? Likely in the moment, you said some not so cool things and it wasn't until later that you realized you should have responded differently. This is basically the story of the Israelites. The biggest difference, their Father is perfect and never wrong. You see, the Israelites got in trouble for going against their Father, which lead them to be exiled from their homeland. In their anger, they looked to God and couldn't see how they got where they were. This is when the prophet of the time (Jeremiah) stepped in a wrote the history of the kings and painted this picture of just how messy they were, resulting in exile. It was a way to shift blame to the real problem and way for the people to look back at God as their protector, asking for His help with their current standing. So, as we cool off, we see our where we went too far and will (often, I hope) go back to our parents and apologize for "crossing the line" or something like that. Then, the relationship can begin the healing process and *BOOM* you made the right choice.

So, above describes 1 & 2 Kings, what's different about 2 Chronicles? One word, restoration. The author of 2 Chronicles realized that the written histories they had were focused on the negatives of the kings, rather than the way God used them. The book of 2 Chronicles was written after the people were released from exile. Specifically, the people of Judah, the two tribes who didn't peace out when Solomon's son took power. The writer wanted to speak into what happened to the people of Judah after the split and how God used even the not so great kings. This means the book can almost seem to contradict what was written by Jeremiah beforehand. It's about perspective. 2 Chronicles is meant to help bring the people into a healthy relationship with God that shows just how he was at work, even during the times.

Thus, as we look at 2 Chronicles we can have even more clarity about what happened during this time in Israel's history. In part, the kings were either wicked or good, choosing to follow God or turn away. The other part has to do what God did in the midst, for some of even the worst kings God was still at work with His people. In the same way, we are in a messy situation with the pandemic.

Today, we wonder "where is God?" in a few years it'll be "God was at work during that pandemic".

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