The exile of Judah was only a matter of time once Josiah was gone. As the Lord had promised long before, God would send His people away by the hands of the Babylonians.
The sons and grandson of Josiah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They served at the pleasure of larger imperial powers to the southwest and northeast. Yet their defeat came not because of the plan of these neighboring nations, but because of the settled purpose of the God of Jacob.
The subjugation of these final kings of Judah also meant the destruction of the city and the temple. The leaders of Judah would not hear the Word of the Lord through God’s ambassador, Jeremiah. They also rebelled against the powers around them that God was using to discipline His people. After centuries of warning from the Lord’s faithful prophets, the end had finally come for Judah.
During those centuries of disobedience, the people of God had been unwilling to celebrate the Sabbaths that He had commanded. Now the land would have seventy years of Sabbath rest after the leading inhabitants were taken into exile.
But then, after those seventy years were completed, God would bring forth an amazing proclamation through Cyrus of Persia. “The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.”
The fulfillment of the Lord’s faithful promise through Jeremiah that was the passion of the Chronicler. The author recorded these two books of biblical history because of this great moment in the lives of the covenant people. The time had come for the descendants of Jacob to go back into the land.
We profit from his words even today. His call to faithfulness needs to be heard by all the followers of the best Son of David. We have a mission that God has given to His people today. We need to take possession of a better kingdom than was ever known in the days of Josiah. Through the blood of Jesus we have been granted title to the kingdom of heaven. Our Savior has told us to build His kingdom throughout the world in accord with the Scriptures. The people of Jesus Christ from every nation must set our hearts above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of the Father. It is time for us to fulfill the ministry that our Savior has given us with the confidence that the meek shall inherit the earth.