With these chapters we find ourselves sprinting toward the end of the throne in Jerusalem. Moses had instructed Israel, “You shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time” (Deuteronomy 4:40). Known as the “deuteronomic formula,” Moses confirmed that obedience brings blessing but disobedience would bring judgment.
Though there were some good kings in Judah, the situation was a mixed bag and, especially toward the end, the kings were not obedient to the Lord’s instruction. Hezekiah (a good king, cleansed the temple and restored right worship, delivered from the Assyrians and from sickness by the Lord) . . . Manasseh (very bad, though the Chronicler reports his repentance) . . . Amon (like father, like son) . . . Josiah (a good king, religious reforms, foolishly went into battle against Egypt and was killed) . . . Jehoahaz & Jehoiakim & Jehoiachin & Zedekiah (all stubborn and evil) . . . and the kingdom was no more. Much to ponder, here. Let us be not like those who disobey; rather . . .
Saviour, while my heart is tender,
I would yield that heart to thee;
All my powers to thee surrender,
Thine and only thine to be.
Take me now, Lord Jesus, take me,
Let my youthful heart be thine;
Thy devoted servant make me,
Fill my soul with love divine. -- C. W. Burton & John Burton (1850)