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2 Chronicles 27:3
And on the wall of Ophel he built much.
Building on Ophel
Ophel means “the mount.” Where was the mount? On the southern slope. Why did the king build so much on Ophel? Because it was most accessible to the enemy. Like a wise commander he remembered that no man is stronger than his weakest point, and that no fortification is stronger than its frailest part; so the king built much where the wall was weakest, or where the access of the enemy was most open; and in doing so he gathered up and represented the wisdom and experience of the ages, and anticipated what we and all the sons of time ought to do. What is your weakest point in life? Build much there. (J. Parker, D.D.)
2 Chronicles 27:6
So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.
I. Every man is under God’s inspection. How truly did the ancients realise this (Psalms 139:1-24.; Jeremiah 23:23-24; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Job 34:22). We little consider this in the present day.
II. Every man should live as under God’s inspection. A man’s conduct will be very different if he realises that God’s eye is on him. He will avoid sin. He will bear in mind the love of his Father who is in heaven. He will try to please Him in thought as well as in deed.
III. The recognition of God’s presence is the foundation-stone of all prosperity. It renders a man great, for--
1. It makes him careful not to do that which will disgrace him.
2. It entitles him to Divine protection and help.
3. It fills him with a consciousness of rectitude, which in itself is a panoply of defence. (Homilist.)
Jotham, king and saint
This is the key-note of Jotham’s biography: “He prepared his ways before the Lord his God.” This may be applied like a key put into the lock of each of these verses of the record of his life.
I. He went right where his father went wrong (2 Chronicles 27:2). Even on the pinnacle of success and popularity, his head was cool, and his heart was clear, and his nerves were steady, for he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.
II. He covered the country with fortifications (2 Chronicles 27:3-4). The man who is spiritual to the core will not be a weakling in the city, and he will not be easily turned aside. This disposes of the idea that to be a praying man and to be a business man do not go together.
III. He prevailed against his enemies (2 Chronicles 27:5). Because, before he fought he prayed.
IV. His wealth increased (2 Chronicles 27:5). Prayer to God brought him his fortune.
V. His humility exalted him (2 Chronicles 27:6). Conclusion: What was Jotham after all but a dim, distant, foreshadowing of Jesus Christ? If ever the text was true of any one, it was true of Him. (John McNeill.)
Godwardness; or the might of an ancient
The Bible is the good man’s chart: to warn away from danger it points out the places where some good men have gone down; while to encourage, it holds up to view the principles as illustrated by the life of others who have been successful. Jotham’s life teaches--
I. Godwardness: the true might and majesty of kings. Godwardness is the continuous shaping of our thoughts and deeds as under the immediate inspection of God. Let God be first in every consideration, consulted in every transaction, recognised and deferred to on all occasions and under all circumstances.
II. Godwardness: the true strength of empires. An empire’s strength does not depend upon--
1. Riches. Ancient Tyre was rich.
2. Political ability and astute statesmanship. Sparta.
3. Learning. Greece.
4. Legions. Rome. Napoleon Bonaparte. The strength of an empire is in God. Also, the true strength of the soul’s empire--the Empire of Self--is Godwardness.
III. Godwardness: the secret of success. The true cause of failure and weakness is often moral delinquency. “Jotham became mighty because he prepared his ways before the Lord.” (Enoch Hall.)
Stimulating effect of God’s presence
It is said that the air of a famous Kentucky cave has a peculiar power of stimulating the senses. After the visitor has been in its strange and silent labyrinths for an hour or two, and comes back into the open air, he can discern the very scents of the flowers, trees, and grasses. New perceptions of spiritual things will come to us if we get away into the quiet of God’s presence, and suffer ourselves to be absorbed by His Word. (T. G. Selby.)
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Chronicles 27". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14