Posted by: arieliondotcom | July 13, 2013

The Penny Drops (2 Chronicles 36)

The Penny Drops (2 Chronicles 36)
(See also 2 Kings 23)

There is a saying, “the penny drops”, which means the moment of understanding, the revealing of an answer. It’s based on flipping a coin to get an answer to a question. If the penny drops with the head image up, it’s one answer, if the penny drops with “tails”, the reverse side, it’s another answer. This chapter reveals how “the penny drops” and how the destruction predicted in earlier chapters plays out. It also reveals how the books of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel and Ezra are connected in the puzzle of Scripture.

In our reading, the book of 2 Chronicles ends. Good King Josiah of Judah is dead. The people put Jehoahaz, his son on the throne in his place. But he’s barely there a few months before CLINK! the judgment predicted under his father begins. One after another, Egypt, Chaldea, and Babylon all attack Judah, take its treasure, replace and rename its kings with relatives of the kings they conquered and rename their appointees to show their mastery over them. Clink! Clink! Clink! Penny after penny falls as prophecy after prophecy of Jeremiah and Isaiah are fulfilled.

But king after king in Judah had not only ignored these prophecies but were so far into the deception of idolatry they mocked GOD and His prophets. They not only worshipped idols and filled the temple with them and had them everywhere in their houses, streets and buildings, but tattooed their bodies with idolatrous symbols as well. They surpassed the idolatry of the people GOD had taken the country away from to give to them as the Promised Land. So GOD brought death, destruction and captivity upon them. Clink! Clink! Clink!

But there’s also a song called “Pennies from Heaven.” It was written to say that even those things that seem like trouble can become blessings. Rain can be depressing. But rain can bring crops and harvests of food and flowers that can be sold.

The conquest and exile of the people of God is horrible. Jeremiah mourns as he predicts it. But something wonderful happens from all those dropping pennies. Isaiah’s prophecy becomes a prophecy of the future. Their kings had led them into sin but a future king was coming. This King would be a servant. He would be beaten beyond recognition and give His life as a sacrifice for sin. He would be the Mighty Counselor, the Mighty GOD, the Prince of Peace. This King will be, God with us, Emmanuel, King Jesus, the Savior to bring us out of the exile of sin into the kingdom of God. All of this and more Isaiah would prophesy even as tragedy was coming.

Daniel will join in with Isaiah’s prophecy. He will see visions of the completion of the exile in Babylon and new kingdoms to come. Kingdom after kingdom generation after generation until the Prince of Peace of Isaiah and beyond. He would see as Isaiah saw the end times of the lion laying peacefully with the Lamb of Isaiah and beyond to the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth. He would see not only the coming of King Jesus but His return at the end of the age.

The dropped pennies of judgment would become pennies from Heaven where the people of God no longer live under the Law their flawed kings forsook but under the Grace of the King of Kings living in their hearts.

For 70 years the people were in exile and the land of Judah was given the rest that the Law called for but they had ignored so long. We will meet Daniel in exile. We will meet Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. We will see the mercy and miracles of God. Then King Cyrus of Persia stirred by the Spirit of God will be used by GOD to bring GOD’s people back to their land as we will read in Ezra.

So when you hear it thunder in your heart in judgment don’t run under a tree to hide. Those pennies that lead to repentance are the riches, drop by drop, of the Blood of Jesus, pennies from heaven, that paid the price of disobeying the Law for you and me. He can rebuild our lives as He restored the people to the land of Judah no matter how far into exile and slavery we have been or what unlikely means and people He uses to do it.

Hear an unusual version of “Pennies from Heaven” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVYVi6OiYQ0

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