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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Marvelously Helped - Part 1

Beth Moore - Marvelously Helped - Part 1

Beth Moore - Marvelously Helped - Part 1
TOPICS: Marvelously Helped

You and I are going to study starting out of 2 Chronicles chapter 26. We're jumping right in the middle and toward the latter part of the book of 2 Chronicles. So, before we get into it, let's have a little bit of context. So, I need you to spend about five minutes with me on some history here so that we can get a couple of things kind of ordered in our minds so that when we do jump in, we have a little history to jump in with. And so, one of the things I would want you to know, I grabbed Melissa's Hebrew Bible out of the library before I left Houston so that I could show you something. Tell me in our English Bibles, what is the last book of our Old Testament in our English Bible? Somebody tell me. We've got Malachi, and then we go straight into what?

Well, in the Hebrew Bible it would start with Genesis, just like ours would, and if I've got a Hebrew Bible like this, I'm going to start from the back, just like this, and you would see right here, if we can get that camera in nice and tight, or you may have to just trust me on this, if you looked at this page, you would see that from the back, going from the back to the front, you would start reading here with Genesis. But instead of getting to the end of the Old Testament with 2 Chronicles, the order is different in the Hebrew Bible. It goes from the law and the prophets to the writings, and sometimes the writings have different arrangements, but it's always those three categories in that order, and it ends always with 2 Chronicles. So, I would turn all the way to the end here, and you would find that last chapter. And if you were able to look really tightly on this page, you would see what you would recognize as 2 Chronicles.

So, it's very, very interesting that it's ordered differently than our English Old Testaments, and there are a couple of reasons why it is believed that that could be so. Let me tell you a couple of things leading up to that. Where you may have the most familiarity with 2 Chronicles is because of the very well-known 7th chapter and the 14th verse that would go like this. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land". That is the most familiar scripture that we hear out of this particular book of the Bible. It was one that was given to Solomon the night of the official dedication of the temple. That night, during the night, God came to him in a vision and he spoke those words over him. So, we've got that one, so that's the 7th chapter and 14th verse, but we're way into it where we're jumping in in chapter 26.

Now, if you looked at the very front of your Bible where the table of contents are, you would see that in the Old Testament there are three pairs of books. There's going to be 1 and 2 Samuel, there's going to be 1 and 2 Kings, there's going to be 1 and 2 Chronicles, but one thing that is good to know, and I find these things interesting, is that each one of those was written as one book. So, there was the book of Samuel, there was the book of Kings, there was the book of Chronicles, but you see, when they were written in the Hebrew, that is mostly without vowels, they fit on a scroll each. But by the time they were translating it at about 300 B.C. into the Greek New Testament that we would call the Septuagint, by the time they put it in the Greek language, and these were Jewish scribes that would translate it into the Greek, by the time they did it and added all the vowels into it, it was nearly twice as long.

So at that point, they found natural breaks in each of those three super long books, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, they found natural breaks, and they made them first and second, first and second, first and second. And some of the material overlaps between the three, because they're mostly centered on those kings and what is happening in the kingdom, what led up to it, and what happens when it begins to crumble toward the end. So, keeping this in mind, if we got 2 Chronicles at the end, that particular book, the word Chronicles, our English word Chronicles is coming from Jerome's own Latin version of a word that looks very much like Chronicles. It makes sense to us what it is, it is a chronicling of various events that were very important in the history of the Jewish people.

In Hebrew, it translates into the deeds or the happenings of the day. And so, that word in Hebrew would mean these were the things that were most important to know, this is in Chronicles, to know that were very strategic for the people of God and for what God was doing on earth. But interestingly, the Septuagint, the Greek title for 2 Chronicles, Paralipomenon, means things left out or things omitted. And the idea behind that is that whatever 1 and 2 Kings left out, 1 and 2 Chronicles, the chronicler, and I'll say chronicler to you several times this weekend, and when I do, what I mean by that is whoever God ordained and inspired to write the book. What he's doing is that he is going to be telling some things that we would not find in 1 and 2 Kings, we might not find in 1 and 2 Samuel. Some of the events might be the same, but there might be an elaboration in one that is not in another.

And so, think of it that way, although it probably is not the best name, the best concept of 2 Chronicles, but it is what it was called. It is considered to be, yes, it's the same inspired Word, but there are places where you're gonna get some different, more elaborate stories, or maybe there's gonna be a story left out entirely that was in one of the other books. You would see that the chronicler is very, very taken with King David, and he's very much gonna lean toward giving a great approval to that man who was chosen by God as the ultimate king. So, there are all sorts of little things that go into it like that, but one of the reasons why it is imagined that it was last... we don't... nobody knows for certain why it was last in the canon, but one of the things it might be is because with 2 Chronicles ends, they've been in exile, the Assyrians have already overtaken the northern kingdom.

By this time, long since has the kingdom split. It split under the son of Solomon by the name of Rehoboam. That particular king, under his crown, the nation split into the north and the south. The ten northern kingdoms were called Israel. The two southern, Judah and Benjamin, the southern tribes, took on the name of Judah, so it was the kingdom of Judah. And then it was Israel, and they had separate kings and everything. By the time this opens up, long since the Assyrians have taken the northern kingdom captive, and they're already just losing themselves into the Assyrian empire. So, now we've got the southern kingdom left, and we're going to jump in right in the middle of it, and it ends with the edict.

So, it's all a mess, everything's been burned down, the wall's down, the temple is down, everything is destroyed, they are taken into captivity, this is the southern kingdom now, by the Babylonians, nothing's left, everything's destroyed, all of them are gone except the ones that were just left to keep the fields for the Babylonians. And then it ends with the last two paragraphs, with the edict of Cyrus saying that there will be a temple rebuilt back in Jerusalem, and he is releasing those who want to build it to go home, and that's it, that's it. Where Malachi opens the way for us straight into Matthew with our expectation of the forerunner, here we've got, at the end of the Hebrew Old Testament, just this expectation to be replanted and rebuilt.

So, let that just sit on you a little while. I was very intrigued. This is something if you're interested in this, I'm gonna have to tell you to do a little looking on your own, because I don't have a lot of time to explain it. But if you love this kind of thing, all you'd have to do is Google part of a sentence and you'd be able to see it pop up in different places. We believe, and our scholars believe, that that order is the order that Jesus himself would have recognized, would have known, that was the Bible, those were the scriptures, the order of the scriptures in his thinking in the New Testament. It would have been, 2 Chronicles would have been the last book, and the reason why there is thought of that is because not only because he refers to the law and the prophets and the Psalms in Luke 24, which the Psalms are part of the writings, but also because he refers to time behind them in the history of Israel.

He refers to time, and I think it is in Luke, let me get it for you, 11:31, he refers to those ancient times as from the blood of Abel to the blood of the prophet Zechariah, which would have been just two chapters before this in 2 Chronicles. So, he's using those two events for the full stretch of time, all the way from the earliest part of Genesis to the latest part of the Old Testament in 2 Chronicles. So, that's just a little bit of information to give us a background for it as we get into it. So, I love the fact that these three sets of books, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, overlap in some ways, but they are not at all identical.

And you know, at first Melissa and I were studying them together, my daughter and I, and she in Washington, and me back in Houston, and I'd given her some things to look up, and I was looking up some other things, and we were talking about, man, how much 2 Chronicles differs in some of the narratives from the other ones. But she said, "Mom, the more you think about it, I mean, that's what we have in the gospels". We have different gospel writers will tell it from this point of view and from this perspective. We might have a longer story here, a shorter one over here, or maybe this particular narrative is told and it's not in this particular book at all. And we were going back and forth in text, and she texted me and said, "I absolutely love the way our Bible was transmitted. I would much prefer it to a stork dropping a leather-bound KJV off at our Hobby Lobby," anybody else? Just the fascination of inspiration.

I'm going to read the first 14 verses of 2 Chronicles 26, and we're going to stop and talk about them for a few minutes. "All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. After Amaziah the king rested with his fathers, Uzziah rebuilt Eloth and restored it to Judah. Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem". So, this is one of the kings of Judah, this is the southern kingdom, and he reigns, in all, 52 solid years. So, I mean, we're talking the guy was in command a long, long time. "His mother's name was Jecoliah, she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord's sight just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God," how interesting.

"During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success". Verse 6, "Uzziah went out to wage war against the Philistines," Everybody say, "The Philistines". The Philistines, "And he tore down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod. He built cities then in the vicinity of Ashdod and among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines". Have you heard those Philistines said three times? Reason why that's gonna be important, and we'll circle back around to it, is I want you to see that some very intentional ties are being drawn by the pen of the chronicler between this King Uzziah and King David. So, we've got the Philistines who were a problem here, and we've got God helping him be victorious over them.

"God helped him against the Philistines," verse 7, "The Arabs that live in Gur-baal, and the Meunites. The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for God made him very powerful". Verse 9, "Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, the corner buttress, and he fortified them. Since he had many cattle both in the Judean foothills and the plain, he built towers in the desert and dug many wells. And since he was a lover of the soil, he had farmers and vinedressers in the hills and in the fertile lands. Uzziah had an army equipped for combat that went out to war by division according to their assignments, as recorded by Jeiel the court secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the authority of Hananiah, one of the king's commanders. The total number of family heads was 2,600 valiant warriors. Under their authority was an army of 307,500 equipped for combat, a powerful force to help the king against the enemy".

And then verse 14, and we'll pause here. "Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, armors, bows, and slingstones". It says in verse 15, "He made skillfully designed devices in Jerusalem to shoot arrows and to catapult large stones for use on the towers and on the corners. So his fame spread even to distant places, for he was wondrously helped". Would you pause right there? "He was wondrously helped". Uzziah comes on the scene approximately 783 B.C. His story comes very close to the end of 2 Chronicles, and therefore very close to the end of the Hebrew canon. Very long reign, as you heard. There's a record in Kings about him, but it is very, very brief. And as a matter of fact, he is called by a different name, Azariah, like his father, only because there's gonna be another Azariah.

In our text in Chronicles, he is called by his alternative name and what may have been his royal name, and that was Uzziah. So, just in case you go check 2 Kings 14 and 15 where a couple of things are said about him, you'll know that they're gonna call him by a different name. Now, he would have been "Time Magazine's" person of the year over and over and over and over again, and not just because he was paying their salaries to put him out front, but because he had very much earned it. This guy would have had millions of followers on social media. I mean, he had everything going for him. He brought in a golden age for the southern kingdom of Judah that they had not enjoyed since the time of King Solomon.

So, this had been many, many years and many kings later, here comes Uzziah. And I mean, the guy can do anything. He's a military success. He's an agricultural success. He does good for the people. I mean, this king was almost without parallel in the era and in the century in which he lived. And some of our most prized attributes in our culture are used for him in the first part of 2 Chronicles chapter 26. You heard 'em, and I tried to emphasize them just a little bit when I came to them, but if you mark in your Bibles, I wonder if you would be so bold as to circle them? Because if you would look, and maybe you have a different translation of your Bible, I'm reading out of the CSB, which I dearly, dearly love. So, you might find a little bit different word in the ESV, or the NIV, or the King James version, but you will recognize it. You'll recognize it.

But look with me and you're gonna see three very interesting words. We're told that he was a success in verse 5, that the Lord God gave him success. For many of you, it will be the last word in the verse, for success. And then we would see, if you look In verse 8, we find two of the other words. We find the word that his fame spread far and wide, and we would also see in that same verse power. He was a man that God had made powerful. So, I mean, he had the big three. God had made him a success, he had fame far and wide, and he was strong, and he was powerful. And I mean, for us, for we who are people of faith, this is the ultimate, because he also did what was right in the eyes of God, and he also helped the people, and isn't that what we want?

That, Lord, we could just be famous, successful, and powerful, but Lord, for you, anybody? I mean, Lord, I need a lot of followers so that I can bring you glory. And I need to make a lot of money, because people would know that you're the one that equipped me with that kind of money. So, I mean, for me to be a worldly success and a godly success, I mean, does it get any better than that? Until it begins to go awry. Now, I gotta tell you something, not only does scripture tell us all of the things that he accomplished, or it gives us the high points of the things he accomplished, archaeological evidence does exactly the same thing. It points back to that exact era. His name is even engraved on cisterns and different architecture attesting to it being built and designed by him. I mean, the guy was an engineer.

So, we've got evidence all over the place of such a golden age for Judah. Towers, cisterns, irrigation systems, way, way, way beyond his time. Verse 14, I found this wording so interesting, it says, "Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, armors, bows, and slingstones. He made skillfully designed devices," in 15. The Hebrew repeats itself, a term three solid times, designed things designed by designers. He made designed things designed by designers. One of the things that the Hebrew does not mind doing is repeating words over and over and over.

We, in our English translations, we try to think up a lot of synonyms. They weren't trying to do that. They were repeating words for emphasis. He was a designer. He'd made all sorts of devices for warfare so that they could catapult huge stones over the wall at their enemy. All manner of thing. He supplied his army with all of their weapons and shields and all they would need for warfare. And in that day, and I don't think I realized this, they were mostly on their own to come up with those instruments.

Now, he did all of that. It's a completely furnished and paid army. A man of agriculture, architecture, echoing that golden age of Solomon, only remember, it's not Solomon that the chronicler is most interested in echoing, it's David he's interested in echoing. To the psalmist David, if you look, over and over again, now, the psalms were written, sometimes we think, and when I was a child and growing up in church, I really believed that all of the Psalms were written by David. If they were a Psalm, they're David's, but that's not exactly so. There are Psalms written by the sons of Korah, of Asaph, of a couple of Psalms that Moses wrote, and then of course there are the Davidic Psalms, the Psalms of David. But over and over again, he calls God his help.

"You have been my help". "You have been my help". I looked up just a few. "You heard my plea for help". "I cried to my God for help". "You have been my helper". "My heart trusts in you and I am helped". "Hurry to help me". David was a man who knew he needed help. Anybody in the house know you need help? I mean, we all need help, but there's nothing like knowing it. We're a step ahead when we just know we need it.

You might have friends, I probably had friends that have said, "You know, the thing about it, Beth needs help, but she doesn't know it". It's a beautiful thing to know when you need help, and David knew. He knew he needed help. And see, Uzziah was marvelously helped. That's our title for this weekend, I loved it so much. My CSB says that he was wondrously helped, and that adverb means what you're hearing in it, marvel or wonder. It means to be miraculous, to be otherworldly, to be supernatural. Not just help, but help that's coming from heaven help, divine help, and Uzziah had been marvelously helped.
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