Introduction: Here, Chronicles records David’s family and the kings who followed him through Babylonian captivity. Like the story of the promised line of Judah, the story of the promised Davidic kings is a story of God’s grace. Through the Davidic kings, God reveals that His grace is (1) undeserved, (2) a light to the lost, (3) not a license to sin, (4) long suffering, (5) requires the judgement of unrepentant sin, (6) requires faith and (7) is based upon the hope of Jesus.
First, the lineage of Davidic kings begins with David’s first six sons who were born through different mothers. These children committed acts of rape, incest, murder, and rebellion. None deserved to become king. God’s use of David’s dysfunctional family to establish His line for the eternal King shows that His grace is not based upon our merit. Second, God selected Solomon to succeed David. To help him succeed, God gave Solomon greater wisdom than any other king. Yet, Solomon misused God’s gifts. From God’s gifts to Solomon, God reveals that His grace was meant to guide the lost. Third, as part of David’s misuse of God’s grace, he took on many concubines and wives. This was, however, against God’s law. As a result of the family conflicts created from David’s unauthorized marriages, one son raped 10 of his concubines and another son raped his daughter Tamar. From David’s misuse of God’s grace, God reveals that His grace comes with great responsibility not to misuse it. God’s grace is not a license to sin. Fourth, after Solomon’s sins, God took away 10 tribes and limited His promised land for the Davidic kings to Judah. God then waited through 15 kings, only two of which were righteous, to judge the nation. From God’s long suffering nature, He shows that He is filled with a grace that is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Fifth, after the Jews rejected the reforms of Judah’s last righteous king Josiah, God was forced to judge the Jews’ unrepentant sin by sending them into exile. If God never judged sin, He would not be just. From God’s final judgment, He reveals that His grace is not unlimited. He must one day judge unrepentant sin. Sixth, as an act of grace, God kept alive the line of David in Babylonian captivity. To the Jews, however, it might have felt that God had abandoned them. They instead needed to be patient and have faith in His promises. God’s grace also requires that you have faith in His promises to you. Finally, the story of the Davidic line concludes with the preservation of a remnant of descendants who later returned from exile. This pointed to the promise of the return of the Davidic King who would reign forever. God’s grace also requires that you have faith in the return of the messiah Jesus, the true King of Kings.
David’s six sons born in Hebron through different mothers. Chronicles divides the birth of David’s sons into two time periods. It initially lists the birth of David’s first six sons through different mothers while Israel was divided, and David reigned in Hebron: “1 Now these were the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn was  Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second was  Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelitess; 2 the third was  Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth was  Adonijah the son of Haggith; 3 the fifth was  Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth was  Ithream, by his wife Eglah. 4 Six were born to him in Hebron, and there he reigned seven years and six months.” (1 Chr. 3:1-4(a));). With one exception, these names also appear in 2 Sam. 3:2-5; 5:13-16. The only difference is the second son, who was previously referred to as Chileab. The Jews celebrated this Davidic line in their anticipation of the restoration of the David kings. Christians celebrate David’s lineage because it affirms the promised line running from Adam to Jesus. The listing of David’s sons in Hebron at a time when the nation was divided highlighted the fact that David’s sons were also divided. All of David’s sons sinned and were unworthy to succeed him as King of Israel. Their many sins demonstrated God’s grace. God did not select David’s family based upon their merit or their good works.
David’s many wives. David had many wives. In Chronicles, this includes (1) Ahinoam of Jezreel, (2) Abigail of Carmel, (3) Maacah, the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur, (4) Haggith, (5) Abital, (6) Eglah, and (7) Bath-shua (Bathsheba), the daughter of Ammiel. In addition, he had concubines (1 Kgs. 3:9). Chronicles omits David’s first marriage to Saul’s daughter Michal (1 Sam. 18:27). Some speculate that this is because she died without children (2 Sam. 6:23). In addition, he also had at least 10 concubines (2 Sam. 15:16; 2 Sam. 20:3). To some, this meant that the Bible endorsed polygamy. Yet, this is false. To the contrary, to become the King of Israel, David had to swear an oath that he would obey God’s law. This included a requirement that he have no more than one wife: “He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” (Dt. 17:17). “Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which destroys kings.” (Prov. 31:3). From the beginning, God intended for marriage to be limited to one man and one women (Matt. 19:4-6; Gen. 2:23-24; 1 Tim. 3:2). Because David’s covetousness caused him to murder Uriah to obtain his wife Bathsheba, God condemned David’s family to constant conflict: ‘“Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”’ (2 Sam. 12:10).
Ammon. Amnon was David’s firstborn son. His mother was Ahinoam. He was born while David was in Hebron (1 Chr. 3:1). He raped his half-sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:8-14). In so doing, he violated many of God’s laws. First, he violated the Tenth Commandment against covetousness (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21). Second, he violated God’s law against rape (Dt. 22:13-19). Third, he violated God’s law against sex between any kind of blood relative (Lev. 18:6). Fourth, he violated God’s law against sex with a sibling (Lev. 18:9; 20:17). Fifth, he violated God’s additional law against sex with half-siblings (Lev. 18:11; 20:17). Sixth, he violated God’s law against fornication (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 6:9). These sins carried a death sentence (Dt. 22:25-29). Finally, he broke the Fifth Commandment by dishonoring his father David (Ex. 20:12; Dt. 5:16).
Daniel/Chileab. Daniel/Chileab was David’s second son. His mother was Abigail (1 Chr. 3:1; 2 Sam. 3:3). Although he was David’s second son, he was never listed as a contender for the throne after the deaths of the first-born Amnon, the third-born Absalom and the fourth-born Adonijah. This has lead many to believe that he died at a young age. He appears to have met a tragic or early demise as part of David’s family curse.
Absalom. Absalom was David’s third son through Maachah, the daughter of a pagan king from Geshur (1 Chr. 3:2). Absalom committed several horrific sins. First, Absalom committed an act of premeditated murder against his brother Amnon (2 Sam. 13:23-34). This carried a death penalty (Nu. 35:20-21, 30; Gen 9:6; Ex. 21:12; Lev. 24:17). Second, he publicly slept with David’s ten concubines (2 Sam. 16:22). Each act of adultery carried a separate death penalty (Lev. 20:10). Third, because Absalom raped these women, he had ten additional death sentences against him (Dt. 22:25; Ex. 22:16). Fourth, because Absalom was sleeping with his father’s wives and his mothers-in-law, he was also guilty of the crime of incest (Lev. 18:8; Dt. 22:30). For his ten acts of incest, Absalom’s punishment carried ten additional death sentences (Lev. 20:11). In addition to his death sentences, Absalom was also cursed for his ten acts of incest (Dt. 27:20). Fifth, he committed an act of rebellion by trying to overthrow his father David as king (2 Sam. 15:1-12). God considers rebellion to be comparable to the sin of witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). God rejected Saul as Israel’s king for far less egregious acts of rebellion (1 Sam. 15:23). Sixth, Absalom’s rebellion against his father cost the lives of 20,000 men (2 Sam. 18:7). Finally, Absalom broke the Tenth Commandment against covetousness because he coveted his father’s power (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21). Any unsaved person who gives into covetousness is also barred from the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:5). David’s general Joab later killed Absalom after capturing him (2 Sam. 18:15).
Adonijah. Adonijah was David’s fourth son. Haggith was his mother (1 Chr. 3:2). As the next oldest son, Adonijah believed that he should have been king (1 Kgs. 2:15). Thus, just before David’s death and with his health failing, Adonijah declared that he would be king (1 Kgs. 1:1-6). Like his older brothers, he was filled with vanity and pride. He had heard that David planned to name Solomon as king (1 Chr. 22:6-13). He even knew that God had decreed this (2 Kgs. 2:15). Yet, Solomon was the youngest son and David’s son through Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12:24). He felt that he was better than Solomon, and he felt the kingdom should not go to what he viewed as a bastard son. Thus, he followed Absalom’s example by seizing power. He even copied Absalom by creating the image of power with 50 men running before him (2 Sam. 15:1). After being reminded of his prior oath (1 Chr. 22:9-10), David vowed to uphold his oath to make Solomon the next king (1 Kgs. 1:29-30). After becoming king, Solomon gave Adonijah a conditional pardon for his rebellion (1 Kgs. 1:51-53). Yet, Adonijah then sought to manipulate Solomon’s mother Bathsheba into giving him David’s concubine Abishag as his wife (1 Kgs. 2:16-17; 1:4). During that time period, taking possession of the royal harem was a sign of a person’s power and right to hold the title of king (2 Sam. 3:8; 12:8; 16:20-22). For his ongoing rebellion, Solomon had him killed (1 Kgs. 2:19-25). Like his brothers, he fell victim to his pride.
Shephatiah and Ithream. Shephatiah was David’s fifth son. His mother was Abital (1 Chr. 3:3). His name meant “Jehovah judges”. Ithream was David’s sixth son. His name means “residue of the people.” His mother was Eglah. (1 Chr. 3:3). The Bible does not record much about these two sons. Yet, they lacked the righteousness to become king, and they had no noted accomplishments for God or for their father David.
Our salvation is also undeserved. Like David’s family, you did nothing to earn God’s grace: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” (Eph. 2:8). “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (Acts 15:11). “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;” (Ro. 3:24). If you believe that you deserve to be saved based, “then Christ died needlessly” (Gal. 2:21).
David’s six sons born in Jerusalem and God’s selection of Solomon. Chronicles next lists David’s sons through different mothers while David reigned in Jerusalem: “And in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years. 5 These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four, by Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel; 6 and Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg and Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet, nine.” (1 Chr. 3:4b-8). These sons are also listed in 2 Samuel 5:14-16 and in 1 Chronicles 14:4-7. The story of this part of David’s family is also a story of God’s grace. God selected Solomon to be the next King of Israel despite knowing in advance that Solomon would greatly misuse the greatest blessings that God ever gave a king.
Shimea, Shobab, and Nathan. Shimea, Shobab, and Nathan were David’s seventh, eighth, and ninth sons. Bath-shua (Bathsheba) was their mother (1 Chr. 3:5). Bathsheba was married to Uriah. David married her after he killed Uriah. None of these children were righteous enough to become king. They were also the offspring of an adulterous union through a murder. Shimea was also called Shammua. The name Shobab means backsliding or rebellious. His name suggests that he rebelled against God and refused to follow His laws. Nathan was in the genealogy that led to Mary, the mother of Jesus. This showed God’s grace in using an worthy leader for the line leading to the Messiah.
God’s grace in selecting Solomon to succeed David. Solomon was David’s tenth son. Bathsheba was his mother (1 Chr. 3:5). Most importantly, he succeeded David as the next King of Israel. God, however, selected him by grace. God blessed Solomon with greater wisdom and wealth than any other person (1 Kgs. 4:29-34; 10:23). Although Solomon initially used his gifts for God, he later misused God’s blessings and committed several deadly sins which should have disqualified him from being king. First, he took 1,000 wives, including 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kgs. 11:3-4). He violated God’s law that he have only one wife 999 times (Dt. 17:17(a)). More importantly, his many wives, especially his pagan ones, turned his heart against God (1 Kgs. 11:4). Second, because of his foreign wives, Solomon began to worship other gods (1 Kgs. 11:5-6). This violated God’s First Commandment (Ex. 20:2-3; Dt. 5:6-7). Second, he built idols and pagan altars for the Jews to worship the pagan gods like Chemosh and Molech (1 Kgs. 11:5-8). This violated God’s Second Commandment (Ex. 20:4-6; Dt. 5:8-10). Third, to become king, Solomon would have taken an oath to obey God’s laws. His failure to follow his oath as the King of Israel blasphemed God’s holy name (Lev. 19:12). This violated God’s Third Commandment (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11). Fourth, by worshipping other gods and stumbling generations of Jews to do the same, Solomon dishonored both his father David and God the Father. This violated God’s Fifth Commandment (Ex. 20:12; Dt. 5:16). Fifth, Solomon tried to kill his servant Jeroboam after the prophet Ahijah told Solomon that God would give Jeroboam 10 of the 12 tribes for Solomon’s rebellions (1 Kgs. 11:40). In addition to being another form of rebellion against God, this violated God’s Sixth Commandment (Ex. 20:13; Dt. 5:17). Sixth, Solomon hoarded gold and wives out of covetousness. This violated God’s Tenth Commandment (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21). Finally, because his heart grew hard, he refused to listen to the prophet Ahijah’s warnings that Solomon’s sins would lead to the division of Israel (1 Kgs. 11:9-13). If he had repented the way David did, God could have forgiven him. Thus, God’s selection of Solomon to succeed David as king showed God’s grace. Because Solomon misused God’s grace, he mislead Israel into division and darkness.
David’s other sons. David’s other sons included:  Ibhar,  Elishama,  Eliphelet,  Nogah,  Nepheg,  Japhia, and  Eliada, (1 Chr. 3:6-8). None of these sons have recorded accomplishments in the Bible. Yet, David gave each of these sons names that reflected the callings of faith that God meant for each one of them. The name “Ibhar” means “He”, in reference to God, “chooseth.” “Elishama” means “God heareth”. The name “Eliphelet” means “God is deliverance”. The name “Nogah” means “Brightness of the Divine Presence.” The name “Nepheg” means “shoot”, which may have referenced the hope of the offspring leading to the Messiah. Finally, the name “Eliada” means “God knoweth”. These sons, however, never lived up to the promise of their names. The Bible does not record how any used their gifts for God’s kingdom.
God gave the Jews an eternal kingship so that they could be a light to the world. God “promised [David] to give a lamp to him through his sons always.” (2 Kgs. 8:19). After being given great gifts, God meant for Solomon to be a light for the lost. Yet, instead of leading future kings into God’s righteousness, he lead them onto a path of darkness. As a descendant of David, Jesus was the true Light of the World who guided the few faithful kings: “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’” (Jo. 8:12; 1:1-13). His light would remind the kings of His Covenant with them (Ps. 132:17; 2 Chr. 21:7). The Jews were in turn meant to share their light with the rest of the world: “He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Is. 49:6). Believers in Christ are also meant to share their light with others: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;” (Matt. 5:14). Are you a light to the lost and those in need?
The suffering David created for his concubines and his daughter. Chronicles concludes its account of David’s sons by mentioning that David also took concubines and that he had a daughter named Tamar: “9 All these were the sons of David, besides the sons of the concubines; and Tamar was their sister.” (1 Chr. 3:9). While this at first might seem like a mere listing of facts, the listing of David’s concubines and Tamar together was to stress that they both suffered because of David’s sins.
God’s prophesy that David’s wives would be violated in broad daylight. Because of David’s adultery and his misuse of God’s grace, God had the prophet Samuel tell David that his wives would be seized in broad daylight and violated by another man: “Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.”’ (2 Sam. 12:11). “You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit.” (Dt. 28:30). When David’s son Absalom rebelled against David, David’s former advisor Ahithophel counseled Absalom to rape David’s concubines in broad daylight. Absalom then fulfilled Samuel’s prophesy: “Ahithophel said to Absalom, ‘Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened.’ So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.” (2 Sam 16:21-22). God’s prophesy referred to these women as David’s “wives.” Although David gave them a lesser status, God did not. David had ten concubines who were raped (2 Sam. 15:16; 2 Sam. 20:3). These ten concubines foreshadowed God’s judgment under His Ten Commandments. Because of David’s sins, his entire family suffered under his judgment. He failed to appreciate that God’s grace came with the responsibility not to misuse it as a license to sin or gratify his flesh.
The suffering that David’s sins created for his daughter. Because David took so many wives, his family also suffered. In addition to the conflicts for the throne, David’s eldest son Ammon raped his half-sister Tamar: “However, he would not listen to her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.” (2 Sam. 13:14). This again showed that God’s grace did not erase the consequences of David’s sins.
Misusing God’s grace can cause others to suffer. With two exceptions, each of the Kings of Judah caused suffering upon the Jews because they misused God’s grace. If you misuse God’s grace, you can also cause innocent people to suffer. Thus, your God-given grace is a gift that you should exercise with great responsibility.
The 15 kings of Judah from Rehoboam to Josiah. In this section, Chronicles lists the 15 kings of Judah who reigned from Rehoboam until Judah’s last legitimate king, Josiah: “10 Now Solomon’s son was  Rehoboam,  Abijah was his son,  Asa his son,  Jehoshaphat his son,  11 Joram his son,  Ahaziah his son,  Joash his son,  12 Amaziah his son,  Azariah his son,  Jotham his son,  13 Ahaz his son,  Hezekiah his son,  Manasseh his son,  14 Amon his son,  Josiah his son.” (1 Chr. 3:10-14). In this line of fifteen successive monarchs, Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter is omitted between Ahaziah and Joash because she did not have a legitimate claim (2 Kgs. 11; 1 Chron. 3:11). Of the remaining 15 kings, only one acted with ongoing faith-led obedience. The ongoing sins of the Kings of Judah is again a story of God’s grace.
1) God’s grace in allowing Rehoboam to rule. Rehoboam was Solomon’s oldest son and his heir to the throne. His evil and misguided reign lead to the breakup of Israel into two nations. Upon becoming king, he responded to the people’s complaints about Solomon’s taxation and work requirements by threatening to punish the people with labor and tax requirements far worse than anything that Solomon had imposed (1 Kgs. 12:12-15). Rehoboam’s threats allowed Jeroboam to incite the northern tribes into breaking away to form a separate kingdom (1 Kgs. 12:16-20). Despite knowing that the division of Israel was God’s punishment for Solomon’s idolatry (1 Kgs. 11:11, 35), Rehoboam failed to lead the nation into repentance. Instead, he tried and failed to stop God’s prophesy from coming true by using his army to brutally impose his will (1 Kgs. 12:21-24). Rehoboam also sinned by taking 18 wives when God allowed only one. It was only by God’s grace that He allowed the evil Rehoboam to rule and have heirs.
2) God’s grace in allowing Abijah/Abijam to rule. Abijah/Abijam was Rehoboam’s oldest son and the second King of Judah. Abijam squandered God’s blessings by engaging in idolatry: “He walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, like the heart of his father David.” (1 Kgs. 15:3). The evil practices that he allowed included temple prostitution (1 Kgs. 14:24; Dt. 16:22). This included male same sex cult prostitutes (1 Kgs. 14:24). Abijah also turned to God only when he needed him. Once his power was secure after God protected him from an invasion from Northern Israel, he took 14 wives for himself (2 Chr. 13:21). It was only by God’s grace that allowed him to rule Judah.
3) God’s grace in allowing Asa to rule. Asa was Abijah/Abijam’s oldest son and the third King of Judah. He initially had a heart for God (1 Kgs. 15:11). He ended the practice of temple prostitution (1 Kgs. 15:12; 14:24). He also removed idols made by his father Abijam, his grandfather Rehoboam, and his great grandfather Solomon (1 Kgs. 15:12-13; 11:7). Yet, he failed to rip down the cultic high temples left by the Canaanites, Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijam. Because he tolerated what God called evil, both he and future generations would fall back into rebellion against God (1 Kgs. 15:14). He also failed to trust God. He became filled with fear when Baasha, an evil king from Northern Israel, attacked. Instead of trusting God, Asa placed his trust in a pagan Assyrian king to save Judah (1 Kgs. 15:16-22). His actions set in motion a conflict between the Assyrians and the Jews. This would cause misery and war for God’s people, leading to the exile and extinction of 10 tribes. God then rebuked Asa for failing to trust Him, even after God had protected him in other battles. Sadly, Asa responded by imprisoning God’s prophet (2 Chr. 16:7-10). Because Asa’s walk did not match his heart for God, God removed His protection from Asa and allowed him to live out his final years as a cripple (1 Kgs. 15:23-24). His rule was again by God’s grace.
4) God’s grace in allowing Jehoshaphat to rule. Jehoshaphat was Asa’s oldest son and the fourth King of Judah. Like his father, Jehoshaphat expelled those who practiced same sex marriage (1 Kgs. 22:46). Yet, like his father, he also permitted pagan worship: “the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places.” (1 Kgs. 22:43). He also placed unity of the Jews over God’s desire that His people be separate and holy. God used the prophet Jehu to rebuke Jehoshaphat for his alliance with Ahab (2 Chr. 19:1-3). But Jehoshaphat did not listen. God used a second prophet named Micaiah to warn Jehoshaphat that Ahab would pursue a fight with the Assyrians that he would lose. But Jehoshaphat again did not listen and nearly died in the battle (1 Kgs. 22:13-17, 32). Jehoshaphat later tried to build up his fleet through an alliance with Ahab’s son Ahaziah. Yet, God sent a third prophet named Eliezer to condemn him for committing an act of evil by joining with the evil king of Northern Israel (2 Chr. 20:35). As result, God then destroyed his fleet before they ever left the port (2 Chr. 20:36-37). Despite observing Ahab and Jezebel introduce Baal and Astarte worship to Northern Israel, Jehoshaphat also tried to bind Judah together with Northern Israel through a marriage alliance (1 Kgs. 16:31-33; 21:25). Thus, he had his son Jehoram marry the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, Athaliah (2 Kgs. 11:1). Athaliah later corrupted her husband Joram’s walk and introduced Baal and Astarte worship to Judah and did a number of other evil acts (2 Kgs. 11:1-16; 2 Chr. 21:6; 22:10-23:15)
5) God’s grace in allowing Joram to rule. Joram was Jehoshaphat’s oldest son and the fifth King of Judah. He followed after King Ahab in Northern Israel and planted the seeds of Baal worship in Judah (2 Kgs. 8:16-19). In addition to embracing idolatry and Baal worship, Jehoram also murdered his brother (2 Chr. 21:2-4). For his many sins, God allowed him to suffer and then die from a loathsome disease (2 Chr. 21:12-14,18-19). The nation of Judah would suffer from both political and military instability (2 Chr. 21:8-17). Among other things, he lost the territory of Edom that David had conquered for the Jews (2 Kgs. 8:20-23; 2 Sam. 8:14; 1 Chron. 18:13).
6) God’s grace in allowing Ahaziah to rule. Ahaziah was Joram’s oldest son and the sixth King of Judah. Ahaziah was also an evil king who followed after Baal worship and idolatry: “27 He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab had done, because he was a son-in-law of the house of Ahab.” (2 Kgs. 8:27). Ahab’s daughter Athaliah was Ahaziah’s mother (2 Kgs. 8:26). Her paganism also corrupted Ahaziah and the entire nation of Judah (2 Chr. 22:3-5). God judged Ahaziah with a short one-year reign (2 Kgs. 8:26). He also died without the honor of being buried in David’s tomb along with the other kings of Judah (2 Chr. 21:19-20).
7) God’s grace in allowing Joash/Jehoash to rule. Joash/Jehoash was Ahaziah’s son and the seventh King of Judah. Although he initially tried to serve God, he slowly embraced evil. Initially, he allowed pagan worship to continue in Judah (2 Kgs. 12:3; 2 Chron. 24:2). In an effort to bring Joash to repentance, God used the Syrian king Hazael to threaten Judah and Jerusalem (2 Chron. 24:23-24). As a result of one battle, the Syrians wounded Joash (2 Chron. 24:25). Joash then became fearful. Instead of turning to God and repenting, he used God’s holy things to bribe King Hazael to call off his attacks (2 Kgs. 12:17-18). Joash eventually served the pagan god Asherim. In his darkened heart, he forsook God (2 Chr. 24:17-22). After refusing to repent, God judged him by allowing his subordinates to conspire together to kill him (2 Kgs. 12:19-21).
8) God’s grace in allowing Amaziah to rule. Amaziah was Joash’s oldest son and the eighth King of Judah. Like his father, Amaziah initially tried to serve God. Yet, he also slowly embraced evil. Like his father, he allowed pagan worship to continue in Judah (2 Kgs. 14:1-4; 2 Chr. 25:1). After God provided Amaziah with a victory over Edom, Amaziah then compromised in his walk. Amaziah embraced the pagan Edomite gods after tolerating pagan worship in his own kingdom. For this, God’s prophet rebuked him (2 Chron. 25:14-16). Yet, he would not listen because he was filled with pride. He then became angry when the mercenaries from Northern Israel raided Judah (2 Chr. 25:13) In his pride, he threatened Northern Israel with war unless it submitted to him. Even though Northern Israel had 10 tribes and more people, its wars with Syria had severely reduced its army (2 Kgs. 13:25). And Amaziah had assembled 300,000 soldiers against Edom (2 Chr. 25:5, 11-12). He trusted in his own strength and believed that he would prevail. God used the King of Northern Israel to counsel Amaziah against waging war against Northern Israel. Yet, Amaziah would not listen (2 Kgs. 14:8-11). Because Amaziah refused to back down from his prideful threats against Northern Israel, God allowed Northern Israel to defeat Judah and even loot the gold from His Temple (2 Kgs. 14:12-16). Amaziah was then made a prisoner (2 Chron. 25:23-25). He remained a prisoner in Samaria until the King of Northern Israel died (2 Kgs. 14:17). Amaziah was then allowed to return to Judah where he served out his final 15 years as king. Yet, his people hated him so much that they conspired together and killed him (2 Kgs. 14:17-22).
9) God’s grace in allowing Azariah/Uzziah to rule. Azariah/Uzziah was Amaziah’s oldest son and the ninth King of Judah. He was a reformer who initially refused to follow many of his father’s mistakes (2 Kgs. 14:3). Yet, he tolerated pagan worship by failing to remove the pagan high place (2 Kgs. 15:4). Because his heart was not fully devoted to God, God’s blessings of material success eventually caused him to think that he was responsible for Judah’s blessings. In his pride, he attempted to take total control by merging the separate roles of church and state. He did this by usurping the role of the priests in offerings at the Temple (2 Chr. 26:16-20). As result, God punished him with leprosy (2 Kgs. 15:5). He then lived in isolation until he died (Isa. 6:1). Because of his leprosy, he further was denied the honor of being buried in David’s tomb (2 Chr. 26:23).
10) God’s grace in allowing Jotham to rule. Jotham was Azariah’s oldest son and the tenth King of Judah. Although he mostly did what was right in God’s eyes, he tolerated evil like his forefathers (2 Kgs. 15:32-38). To discipline him, God allowed King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah from Northern Israel to invade Judah and reach as far as Jerusalem. Yet, out of mercy and grace, God did not let them prevail (Is. 7:1).
11) God’s grace in allowing Ahaz to rule. Ahaz was Jotham’s oldest son and the eleventh King of Judah. Ahaz engaged in evil acts that exceeded even his most evil predecessors (2 Kgs. 1:1-4). While his predecessor kings at times tried to do what was right or had mixed records as kings, Ahaz continually did evil in God’s eyes like the kings of Northern Israel. His sins went far beyond tolerating evil as his predecessors had done. Instead, he actively participated in some of the worst forms of pagan worship, including child sacrifices to the Molech, an idol whom the Canaanites worshiped (2 Chr. 28:3). This even exceeded the idolatry adopted by the Kings of Northern Israel. Childhood sacrifices were in God’s eyes one of the most abhorrent evils that anyone could practice (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5; Dt. 18:10; Jer. 7:31; 19:5; 32:35). Ahaz also made Baal idols for all his people to worship (2 Chron. 28:2). Likewise, while his predecessor kings displeased God by tolerating pagan worship in the high places (Hosea 4:13), Ahaz actively participated in this type of pagan worship as well (2 Kgs. 16:4). Because Ahaz turned his back on God, God removed His hand of protection and allowed the pagan King Resin of Syria and King Pekah of Northern Israel to attack Judah (2 Kgs. 16:5-6; 2 Chr. 28:5-15). Judah lost 120,000 soldiers in just one day and 200,000 women and children as captives (2 Chr. 28:5-8). In addition, God allowed the Syrians to capture the important port of Elath in the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba (2 Kgs. 16:6). Instead of trusting in God’s promises, Ahaz turned to the King of Assyria to defeat the Syrians and the Jews of Northern Israel (2 Kgs. 16:7-9). In his weakness, Ahaz called himself both the “servant” and “son” of the pagan Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III (2 Kgs. 16:7). Thus, Ahaz agreed to make Judah a vassal state of Assyria for its protection. This required Judah to give up the gold in God’s Temple and its royal treasuries (2 Kgs. 16:9). In addition to placing his people under economic bondage, Ahaz placed his people under spiritual bondage by creating an Assyria temple for the Jews to use for worship (2 Kgs. 16:10-11). Ahaz also assumed the role of priest in performing pagan sacrifices (2 Kgs. 16:12-16). He also threw out of the Temple God’s instruments for cleansing sin (2 Kgs. 16:17-18).
12) God’s grace in allowing Hezekiah to rule. Hezekiah was Ahaz’s oldest son and the twelfth King of Judah. He was one of Judah’s two greatest reformers. He removed the many pagan altars from the country and restored proper worship (2 Kgs. 18:1-6; 2 Chr. 29:1-2). Because of his faith, God also destroyed 185,000 Assyrian troops after King Sennacherib invaded (2 Kgs. 19:35-37; 2 Chr. 32:21-22; Is. 37:36-38). In response to Hezekiah’s cry for healing and his faithful obedience, God also extended his life by 15 years (2 Kgs. 20:4-7). Yet, he was not without sin. He initially tried to appease King Sennacherib by giving him the gold in the Temple and his gold reserves. God then tested both Hezekiah and Judah with an invasion (2 Kgs. 18:13-16). Instead of fully trusting in God, Hezekiah agreed to meet with the King of Babylon to build a worldly alliance against Assyria. Out of pride, Hezekiah then showed the Babylonians all the gold in his kingdom (2 Kgs. 20:12-13). He also failed to repent of his actions when Isaiah confronted him (2 Kgs. 20:14-15). Because of Hezekiah’s sins and because he failed to repent, Isaiah warned that the Babylonians would one day return and seize the remaining gold inside of Judah (2 Kgs. 20:16-19). Hezekiah again failed to repent.
13) God’s grace in allowing Manasseh to rule. Manasseh was Hezekiah’s oldest son and the thirteenth King of Judah. He was Judah’s most wicked king (2 Kgs. 21:1-2). He engaged in at least seven deadly sins. First, he reinstituted Ahab’s practices of Baal and Asherah worship (2 Kgs. 21:3). This violated God’s First Commandment against worshipping other gods (Ex. 20:3; Dt. 5:7). Because Asherah worship involved ritual sex, he turned the Temple into a brothel. Second, he rebuilt the pagan altars that Hezekiah faithfully destroyed (2 Kgs. 21:3). God ordered the Jews to destroy these altars (Dt. 12:2-3; Jer. 2:20). This also violated God’s Second Commandment against idolatry (Ex. 20:4-6; Dt. 5:8-10). Third, he went beyond Ahab’s idolatry by following Babylonian astrology and worship of the sun, moon, and stars (2 Kgs. 21:3). In addition to violating the First Commandment, God separately prohibited astrology because of the demonic influences that it involved (Dt. 4:19; 17:2-5). Fourth, he desecrated God’s Temple with pagan altars (2 Kgs. 21:4, 7). God “put [His] name forever in the Temple (1 Kgs. 8:29; 9:3; 21:7). Thus, his actions also blasphemed God’s holy name. This in turn violated the Third Commandment (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11). Fifth, he practiced witchcraft and divination, and he dealt with mediums and spiritists (2 Kgs. 21:6). This was also expressly prohibited under God’s law (Lev. 19:31; Dt. 18:9-12). This placed him in direct communion with demonic forces. Indeed, God condemned Saul to death for speaking with a medium (1 Sam. 28:16-19). Sixth, he sacrificed his own son through fire to the pagan god Molech (2 Kgs. 21:6). This also directly violated God’s law (Lev. 18:21; Dt. 18:10-12). Ahaz was the only other king in Judah to do this (2 Kgs. 16:3) This practice was so offensive to God that it was a reason for His judgement of the Ammonites (Gen. 15:16; Dt. 20:17). Finally, he murdered God’s prophets, including Isaiah, and God’s righteous people (2 Kgs. 21:16). This violated the Sixth Commandment against murder (Ex. 20:13; Dt. 5:17). Because neither Manasseh nor the people would listen to God’s prophets and change their ways, God sent His prophets to warn that God would judge all of Judah by sending them into exile (2 Kgs. 21:10-15).
14) God’s grace in allowing Amon to rule. Amon was Manasseh’s son and the fourteenth King of Judah. Amon followed after the evil practices of his father Manasseh (2 Kgs. 21:19-21). Even worse, he exceeded his father’s sins: “Moreover, he did not humble himself before the LORD as his father Manasseh had done, but Amon multiplied guilt.” (2 Chron. 33:23). Like his father, he worshiped pagan idols including Baal, Asherah, Ashtoreth, and Moloch. Because he embraced evil, God removed His hand of protection, and his servants conspired against him and killed him (2 Kgs. 21:23-26).
15) God’s grace in allowing Josiah to rule. Josiah was Amon’s son and the fifteenth King of Judah. After Judah’s two worst kings, he was one of its greatest kings (2 Kgs. 22:1-2; 2 Chr. 34:1-2). Josiah “did [not] turn aside to the right or to the left.” (2 Kgs. 22:2). He faithfully adhered to every aspect of God’s law (Dt. 5:32; 28:14). God heard also Josiah’s faithful prayers and delayed His wrath on Judah (2 Kgs. 22:18-19). Yet, the people did not follow his example. They instead returned to their sins after he died.
God was faithful to Judah even when its kings were unfaithful. The fact that God did not destroy Judah sooner after 13 of its 15 kings embraced or tolerated evil shows that God is long suffering and quick to forgive. “The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; . . .” (Nu. 14:18). His forbearance also shows that He is faithful. During the reign of these kings, He did not destroy Judah because He was faithful to keep His Covenant with David (2 Kgs. 8:19). God promised David a kingship through his descendants that would never end: ‘“12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’ (2 Sam. 7:12-16). Even though all but two of the kings deserved death for their actions, God did not want to profane His holy name by terminating His promises to David: “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.” (Ezek. 20:9). “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.” (Is. 48:11). “Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, that He might make His power known.” (Ps. 106:8). You can also have faith that God will never profane His holy name by breaking any promise in the Bible to you.
Josiah’s sons ended the reign of Judah. Chronicles next breaks from the format of the listing of each king to list the names of Josiah’s sons: “15 The sons of Josiah were  Johanan the firstborn, and the second was  Jehoiakim, the third  Zedekiah, the fourth  Shallum. 16 The sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.” (1 Chr. 3:15-16). This listing reveals that Josiah’s true heir was Johanan. Although some believe that this was another name for the heir Jehoahaz, the names bear no relationship to each other. A better explanation is that Johanan was meant to be king. Yet, sinful leaders installed other children who took an illegitimate claim to the throne. These kings brought Judah to an end. The kings who succeeded Josiah all embraced evil.
Jewish elders and then the Pharaoh appoint ungodly men as kings. After Josiah’s death, the elders of Judah passed over Josiah’s firstborn Johanan and instead appointed another son Jehoahaz as king. The elders may have been upset with Josiah’s reforms and wanted someone who was sympathetic to their views. Yet, Jehoahaz ruled for only three months before he became a captive of Pharaoh-nechoh II in Egypt. He later died in Egyptian captivity (2 Chr. 36:1-4). God likely removed His hand of protection because Jehoahaz rejected his father’s reforms and instead embraced the idolatry and false gods of his great-grandfather Manasseh and his grandfather Amon (2 Kgs. 23:28-33). Pharaoh Neco then used his control over Judah to appoint another son of Josiah as king that he felt he could control, Eliakim. To demonstrate his control, he then changed his name to Jehoiakim (2 Kgs. 23:34-37). Being a vassal state of Egypt placed Judah at risk for Babylonian attack because Egypt was its enemy (2 Chr. 36:5-8). Moreover, the heavy tribute weakened Judah’s ability to defend itself. Furthermore, Jehoiakim taxed his people severely to pay tribute to Egypt. Moreover, Jehoiakim misused the funds that he did have to build a palace for himself (Jer. 22:13-19). On top of these sins, Jehoiakim did evil in God’s eyes by practicing idolatry (2 Kgs. 23:37; 2 Chr. 36:5, 8; Jer. 22:13-17; 25:1-7). He even murdered the prophet Urijah (Jer. 26:20-23). While Josiah publicly proclaimed God’s Word, Jehoiakim publicly burned God’s prophetic word for Judah (Jer. 36:22-24). In response, God cut Jehoiakim from the throne the way that he had cut and burned His Word (Jer. 36:29-30). Zedekiah then took control and revolted against the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnessar then encircled and caused a famine in Jerusalem (2 Kgs. 25:1-3). Nebuchadnessar then captured Zedekiah, killed his sons and blinded Zedekiah (2 Kgs. 25:4-7). Nebuchadnessar then burned Jerusalem and deported the Jews to Babylonian captivity (2 Kgs. 25:8-12; 2 Chron. 36:17-19; Jer. 39:1-10; 52:1-23).
Although God is slow to anger and quick to forgive, He will eventually judge sin. God delayed His judgement upon Judah through 15 kings to give the Jews a chance to repent. This shows that He is slow to anger and quick to forgive: “6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, . . .”’ (Ex. 34:6-7). “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.” (Ps. 86:15; 103:8; 116:5). Jesus never changes (Heb. 13:8). He is slow to anger and quick to forgive because He wants all to come to repentance: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9). “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Ro. 2:4). Yet, because God is just (2 Thess. 1:6), He will one day judge all sin (Ps. 94:23). Jesus will one day come to judge the nations and His enemies (Joel 2:1; Rev. 8-9; Is. 11:4; 63:1-6; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 9:6; Ps. 110:4-7). Satan and his demons will be judged in the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20). Thus, every person must take sin seriously by repenting of their sin and by fearing God by hating evil things (Prov. 8:13).
The Davidic line held in captivity. Chronicles next lists the family members under King Jeconiah, who were born in Babylonian captivity: “17 The sons of Jeconiah, the prisoner, were Shealtiel his son, 18 and Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah.” (1 Chr. 3:17-18). Jeconiah was taken captive because of his sins. Yet, God used his evil acts for good by using him to preserve the line of David.
God disciplined David and his descendants. Most of the Davidic kings rebelled against God by adopting idolatry, through polygamy, their lack of faith, their worldliness and their other rebellions. In return, God allowed them to experience strife. God warned David that his eternal kingship would not exempt his heirs from discipline, just as a loving father disciplines a wayward son: “14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,” (2 Sam. 7:14). In a similar way, God disciplines His people out of love: “Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt. 8:5). “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb. 12:7). “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:32). If God has disciplined you, have you changed your ways for Him?
The Jews had to have faith in God’s promises. For any Jew in captivity, all hope might have seemed lost. They had no moral right to expect God’s restoration. They also had no power to make this happen on their own. Their only hope was to have faith in God’s promises. ‘“For I am with you,’ declares the LORD, ‘to save you; for I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, only I will not destroy you completely. But I will chasten you justly and will by no means leave you unpunished.” (Jer. 30:11) “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God.” (Lev. 26:44). “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” (Dt. 4:31; 31:6).
God also wants you to have faith in his promises. God’s grace is also available to you through faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6). Even when all hope seems lost, never give up your faith in God’s promises.
Zerubbabel’s return to Israel and the promise of the restoration of the Davidic kings. This chapter of Chronicles concludes with an account of the post-exile line of David. This begins Zerubbabel, who lead the return of the Jews, and concludes with the hope of the restoration of the Davidic kings: “19 The sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei. And the sons of Zerubbabel were Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah and Jushab-hesed, five. 21 The sons of Hananiah were Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shecaniah. 22 The descendants of Shecaniah were Shemaiah, and the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah and Shaphat, six. 23 The sons of Neariah were Elioenai, Hizkiah and Azrikam, three. 24 The sons of Elioenai were Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah and Anani, seven.” (1 Chr. 3:19-24). Zerubbabel led a wave of Jews during their return from Babylon to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:2; Neh. 12:1). The Babylonians then allowed him to serve as a governor of Judah (Hag. 2:21). The prophets Haggai and Zechariah both held him in high esteem (Hag. 2:23; Zech. 4:6-10). Most of the other people on this list are unknown today. Zerubbabel’s descendants are included to show that God had not forgotten His promise to restore David’s line. The King of Kings would soon come to rule for eternity. Yet, the Jews had to have faith in God’s promises to have hope for their salvation.
God was faithful to preserve a remnant of His people. Whenever God allowed calamity to fall upon His people to correct or discipline them, He always promised to preserve a “remnant” that He would use to restore His people “For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”’ (Is. 37:32; Micah 2:12-13; Zeph. 3:8-20). Through Paul, God repeated this promise: “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” (Ro. 11:5). Thus, even when evil abounds, you should never give up hope in Jesus. He will preserve a remnant to keep His promises.
Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s covenant of an eternal kingship through David. Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to David: ‘“I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.” (Ps. 89:4). “So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven.” (Ps. 89:29). “He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” (Ps. 18:50). “For thus says the LORD, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;”’ (Jer. 33:17). “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Is. 9:6-7). “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness.” (Is. 16:5). “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”’ (Jer. 23:5-6). Jesus was born into the line of David (Matt. 1:1). He came to fulfill God’s covenant with David as the eternal King of Kings: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk. 1:32-33). “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.’” (Rev. 19:16). You may declare Jesus to be your Lord. Yet, is He Lord over every aspect of your life?