(Today’s post by Chris Queen)
2 Chronicles 36
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve recently returned to the staff at Eastridge after a season away from it. I needed those few years of working “in the world” for several reasons: to build skills, to remember what it’s like to be a volunteer…I could go on and on. But on top of everything else, the biggest reason was that I had neglected my spiritual growth to the extent that I needed a renewal – a reset.
At the end of 2 Chronicles, after 35 chapters of long stories of Hebrew kings, most of them more vile and steeped in sin than the last, we get a series of rapid fire vignettes of the last few monarchs. Finally, we get to the exile of God’s people from the Promised Land into Babylon and Persia.
15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
The Israelites remained away from home for seven decades until God pressed the reset button on His chosen nation. God, through King Cyrus of Persia, allowed the Israelites back into the land He promised them. In this passage, one verse stuck out to me:
21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.
That’s right, even the land received a period of rest at the hands of God. The Lord renewed His people, their love for Him, and even their homeland after the Israelites’ sinful neglect of their relationship with Him led them into exile.
Have you been through a spiritual reset? Are you going through one now? Do you need one? Take advantage of the opportunities that God affords you to renew your faith. Trust me on this one – your relationship with Him will be so refreshed as a result!