The Attraction of Israel’s God
The temple at Jerusalem was intended to be like a magnet, drawing people from all over the world to worship the Lord as Israel did (2 Chr. 6:32–33). The table below lists a number of the foreigners in the Bible who were attracted to Israel’s God.
The Prophets of Judah
Semaiah the prophet (2 Chr. 12:15) was one of numerous Old Testament prophets, people commissioned by God to deliver His message. The table below shows prophets who spoke to Judah during the days of the divided kingdom.
Time for a Reformation
17:7–10 King Jehoshaphat sent leaders “throughout all the cities of Judah” to teach the Law and promote spiritual and political reforms (2 Chr. 17:7–9). Perhaps this outreach would not have been necessary had an existing system of spiritual guidance and education not broken down. Scattered throughout Judah were perhaps as many as sixteen or more of the forty-eight cities designated as Levitical cities, where Levites enjoyed special rights and privileges. The location of these cities distributed Levites throughout Israelite territory. These religious leaders were supposed to teach the people God’s ways—the very objective that Jehoshaphat was now seeking to achieve (17:8).
Find out more about the role and location of the Levitical cities at Josh. 21:1–3.
A. THE REIGN OF SOLOMON (1:1-9:31)
Solomon asks for wisdom
Solomon builds the Temple
Solomon dedicates the Temple
Solomon's riches and wisdom
B. THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH (10:1-36:23)
The northern tribes revolt
History of apostasy and reform
Judah is exiled to Babylon
Solomon achieved much in business and government, but most important, he was the man God used to build the glorious Temple. This beautiful building was the religious center of the nation. It symbolized the unity of all the tribes, the presence of God among them, and the nation's high calling. We may achieve great things in life, but we must not neglect any effort that will help nurture God's people or bring others into God's Kingdom. It is easy for us to get the wrong perspective on what's really important in life.
Throughout the reins of 20 kings, the nation of Judah wavered between obedience to God and apostasy. The reigning king's response to God determined the spiritual climate of the nation and whether or not God would send judgment upon his people. Our personal history is shaped by our response to God. Just as Judah's failure to repent brought them captivity in Babylon, so the abuse of our high calling by sinful living will ultimately bring us catastrophe and destruction.