2 Chronicles 30:6-9
So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah…
The letters which Hezekiah sent throughout the cities and villages of Israel contained an earnest exhortation to repentance; they urged upon the inhabitants of that distressed land that, for the strongest reasons, they should return from their idolatrous ways, and worship the true and living God in his own temple. These considerations are fourfold.
I. IT IS TO THE GOD OF THEIR FATHERS THEY WERE EXHORTED TO RETURN. "Children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God... of Israel" (ver. 6). It was not to the house of a strange deity they were now invited; it was to the God of Israel - to him to whom their own ancestors bowed the knee; it was to him who ever called himself by the very name they bore, in whom their illustrious father put his trust and found his heritage. Whom should they serve but that One whom Israel himself acknowledged as the Lord his God (Genesis 28:16-22)? To those who have gone astray to vanities, to the pursuits of earth, to human attachments, to perishable treasures, and who have forsaken the Divine Source of all good and joy, we have to say, "Return unto the Lord God of your fathers. He to whom and to whose service we invite your return is no strange God in your house. It is he whom your father, whom your mother, has loved and served these many years; whom (it may be) they are worshipping and serving now in the upper sanctuary. It is their tones that may be recognized in our voice, if you have an ear to hear, saying, 'Return unto our God, unto our Saviour, unto our heritage, unto our home.'"
II. REBELLION MEANS NOTHING BUT RUIN. "Who trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation" (ver. 7). Assuming the (more probable) theory that the country was now in the hands of the Assyrians, there was "desolation" indeed; to most of their families (and to the best of them) captivity or bereavement; to the nation, as such, utter subjection, humiliation, ruin. This was the penalty of their rebellion against Jehovah, its natural and inevitable end (Deuteronomy 29:22-28). To those who are estranged from God we have to say," Return unto God, for distance from him is spiritual ruin."
1. It is the forfeiture of the true heritage of the human soul, the heritage it has in the favour and the friendship of God.
2. It is the endurance of his most serious displeasure.
3. It is a spiritual bondage, the bondage of sin.
4. It is the beginning of death eternal.
III. THERE IS NO DANGER OF REPULSE. "The Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him" (ver. 9). The people of this idolatrous realm might well ask whether they had not hopelessly separated themselves from Jehovah, whether their rebelliousness had not gone such lengths that mercy was not to be looked for. But Hezekiah charged them to dismiss all such fears from their minds; their repentance would meet with a gracious response from the forgiving God of their fathers. It is one of the strongest inducements we have to offer to those now spiritually estranged, that their genuine repentance, the turning of their heart toward the God of their fathers, and their seeking his mercy in Jesus Christ the Divine Saviour, is certain to be attended with his abundant mercy, and to he followed by their restitution to the favour they have lost, to the home they have left, to the blessedness they have thrown away. There is absolutely no fear of a repulse - that is a moral impossibility; the unchangeable Word of the faithful God is the immovable pledge that return means reconciliation.
IV. RECONCILIATION FOR THEMSELVES MEANS MERCY FOR THEIR RELATIONS. "Your brethren and your children shall find compassion," etc. (ver. 9). This was their one and only hope. If God had mercy upon Israel that was in Israel, he might, he would, recall their brethren and children from the land of their captivity; otherwise these must perish in "a strange land," in the land of the enemy. Our message to men is not unlike this; we have to say to them, "If you will consult the well-being of those in whom you are most interested and for whom you are most responsible; if you will care for the salvation of those nearest and dearest to you, of your brethren and your children; then do you live the life of the holy, do you give the best and strongest evidence that you believe in the excellency of the service of Christ, do you turn from the transient and the unsatisfying treasures of earth, and seek your heritage in the favour of the heavenly Father, in the love and the friendship of the Saviour of mankind. Therefore "yield yourselves unto God" (ver. 8); enter his sanctuary; accept the overtures of his Son; sit down at his table; take on you his Name and his vows." - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
WEB: So the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, "You children of Israel, turn again to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to the remnant that have escaped of you out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.