It is the Acts of the Old Testament: the story of how God’s house was established and filled with the Spirit, how his people prayed, worshiped, failed, repented, were captured by their enemies and ultimately set free, and how Gentiles came to worship him. There are heroes like Peter and John (Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah). There are villains like Herod (Ahaz, Amon). There is a faithful believer who gets stoned, like Stephen (Zechariah). There is a villain-turned-disciple like Paul, who turns from persecuting God’s people and becomes a trophy of grace (Manasseh).
Second Chronicles is the most underrated book in Scripture.
Partly this is because its prequel gets off to a slow start. The lengthy genealogy of 1 Chronicles 1–9 is extremely boring for most modern readers, even though it plays a crucial role in the author’s overall project. The final chapters of 1 Chronicles also go into extensive detail on priestly and musical responsibilities, which take a fairly committed theologian or animated worship leader to get enthusiastic about. So by the time people reach 2 Chronicles, they are ready to regard the chronicler as a pedantic, laborious bean-counter who cannot seem to get out of the weeds.
And partly it’s because it seems to repeat the content of 1 and 2 Kings, but with Elijah and Elisha taken out. (Elijah does make a brief appearance in 2 Chronicles, but there is no Mount Carmel, no still small voices or miraculous meals or stolen vineyards or fiery chariots ascending into the sky.) The temple building is still there, and the ups and downs of good and bad kings are still there, but the action heroes have been edited out. A dismissive reader could think the chronicler is trying to make life difficult for us.
We are not called to be dismissive readers. And when we read 2 Chronicles on its own terms, we discover that despite its lack of focus on Elijah and Elisha—which results from its lack of focus on the northern kingdom altogether—it is in many ways the most focused, prophetic, prayerful, and worshipful history book in the Bible.