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2 Chronicles 35:2
And encouraged them.
Cheer up, my comrades
The first thing is to get every man into his proper place; the next thing is for every man to have a good spirit in his present place so as to occupy it worthily. At this time it shall not be my business to arrange you, but assuming that it is well for you to keep where you are, my object shall be to encourage you to do your work for the Lord without’ being cast down. I will speak--
I. To those who think they can do nothing.
II. To workers who are laid aside.
III. To those who are much discouraged because they have but small talent.
IV. To workers who are under great difficulties.
V. To those who are not appreciated.
VI. To those who are discouraged because they have had so little success. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
“I never should have reached success,” Lord Beaconsfield once wrote, “had it not been for one woman who, in the darkest hour, believed I could win, and cheered me on.”
2 Chronicles 35:21
For God commanded me to make haste.
Haste is not hurry. Hurry implies confusion and disorder. It is not the same with speed.
I. What it refers to. We should not err were we to apply it to the duties of relative and secular life. It applies particularly--
1. To the salvation of the soul.
2. To a course of godliness.
3. To labour for the welfare of others (Proverbs 3:27-28).
II. On what it is founded.
1. The importance of the thing itself.
2. The limitation of our opportunities.
3. This only season is short. (W. Jay.)
2 Chronicles 35:24-25
His servants therefore took him out of that chariot.
The lamentation for Josiah
I. The nature and quality of the lamentation.
1. Extensively. All Judah and Jerusalem.
2. Intensively. Bitter lamentation.
3. Protensively. Of long duration, “an ordinance in Israel.”
II. The cause and ground of it. The loss of a good leader whose life had been useful.
III. Doctrine. That faithful, active, and public-spirited men in the Church of God should not be laid in their graves without great lamentations. In replication I will show--
1. Negatively. On what account the death of good men is not to be lamented.
2. Positively. The true grounds and causes of such lamentation.
(1) Because so much of the Spirit of God as dwelt in them, when amongst us, is now recalled and gathered up from this lower world. As it is a real loss to a company when any merchant withdraws a great stock he had running in trade, out of the bank; so certainly it is a great loss to the Church of God, when the precious gifts and graces of the Spirit, dwelling in the saints, are drawn out by death.
(2) Because thereby a breach is made to let in the judgments of God upon the remnant that is left.
(3) The beauty and ornaments of the places they lived in are defaced and removed by their death.
(4) Because the propagation of religion is obstructed in the places from whence they are removed.
(5) The consideration of the time in which good men die aggravates the loss, if it falls out,--
(a) In a declining state of religion.
(b) When the numbers of the godly are thinned and lessened.
(c) When the spring and succession of good men is obstructed.
(6) When we consider what influence our sins and provocations have had upon those judgments and calamities. I look upon every good man, as a good book, lent by its owners for another to read, and transcribe the excellent notions and golden passages that are in it for his own benefit, that they may return with him when the owner shall call for his book again. But in case this excellent book shall be thrown into a corner, and no use made of it, it justly provokes the owner to take it away in displeasure.
Application. This reproves--
1. The worst of men, such as secretly rejoice at the removal of such men.
2. The insensibleness of good men, who are apt too slightly to pass over such tremendous strokes of. God (Isaiah 57:1).
3. The very best of men, who though they do bewail and lament the loss of such men, yet they do not lament it in the due manner. (John Flavel.)
The death and burial of Josiah
1. That the best of men may err in judgment and in act.
2. The danger of undertaking any work without asking counsel of the Lord.
3. How universal is the reign of death.
4. That we should be cautious how we attribute sudden and violent death to the vengeance of the Most High.
5. That it is not wrong to mourn for the dead. (J. S. Wilkins, B.A.)
The death of Josiah
I. What the people of God did upon the death of Josiah.
1. There was a general mourning for him.
2. The prophet Jeremiah made a particular office for it.
3. This office was used among others upon the day of lamentation.
4. This use was established by a law upon Israel, which was observed till the end of the Babylonian Captivity.
II. The reasons of their doing it.
1. Because it was caused by their sins.
2. Because it was a punishment for their sins. (Bishop W. Lloyd.)
A nation’s tears
Why does the Jewish nation now weep over Josiah? The reasons are:
I. The great national loss which the event involved. Josiah was a prince--
1. Of a reflective nature. His mind was in the quest of the highest truth.
2. Of a tender spirit.
3. Of reformative disposition.
II. The sad memory of the moral cause of the calamity.
III. The terribly distressing mystery associated with the dispensation. Josiah was the most useful man of his age; yet he dies at thirty-nine. Mystery though it be, it teaches us--
1. That Heaven’s government is no respecter of persons.
2. The irresistibility of death.
3. That there is nothing on this fleeting earth on which we should set our hearts.
4. That there must be an after life. (Homilist.)
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Chronicles 35". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27