Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Seventy Years

August 19: 2 Kings 24-25 & 2 Chronicles 36

17 Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or aged. He gave them all into his hand. 18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. 19 And they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels. 20 He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.’”

2 Chronicles 36:17-23

Seventy Years

2 Chronicles 36 ends with a summary of the end of the reign of the Judean kings; the captivity of Judah; and the decree of Cyrus, king of Persia, at the end of the seventy years of captivity for Judah. As Jeremiah had prophesied, so God had brought everything to pass.

This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.
Jeremiah 25:11-12

As God had said, the Judeans remained in captivity for seventy years, after which time God punished the Chaldeans by bringing in the Persians to conquer them. I would like to focus on the last verse of 2 Chronicles 36:

“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.'"

What an interesting verse! God spoke to Cyrus, a heathen king, charging him to send back some Judeans to rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. Does God only work through Christians? Does God only move Christians to do His will?

God created this world, and though He has given Satan much power, the rule of the world has never left His hands. Just ponder that thought as you go about the duties of this day. God fulfilled His Word; the Judeans were in captivity for seventy years to the very day.

God is righteous and just, and is able to bring to pass every single word that He has promised even to the very day! And, as Christians, this God is our God. That should lift your hearts!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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