“Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:-1-2
This is an important principle repeated many times in the Bible.
In year 15 of Asa’s reign, Azariah was sent to Asa with an important message.
The message had the tone of a warning.
The essence of God’s Word to Asa was ?there would be great reward if they continued in the path of seeking the Lord with complete dependence.
Likewise there would be great loss if they stopped depending on God.
Why this message to a faithful, godly King❓
God saw something in Asa’s heart that could potentially compromise his faith and devotion. Thus, God sent Azariah to tell Asa; Be strong and do not lose courage.
King Asa did more to ‼ RESTORE THE RIGHT THAN REMOVE THE WRONG;
This is very important.
This was the good and godly response.
Instead of speaking out more or to be passive, about the wrong? *It is better to take positive steps towards the good and right..
King Asa had faced many difficulties in his lifetime, yet he didn’t GIVE UP.
This is a very timely word for us today.
Maybe you and me, are facing some difficult situation now.
Maybe we are praying to God to bring a change……
Growth happens in the struggle.
*No matter how hard it seems, no matter how difficult situations or circumstances may appear,
STAND FIRM, STAY STRONG AND DO NOT GIVE UP and our work will be rewarded.
2 Chronicles 15:7 "But you, be strong and DO NOT LET YOUR HANDS BE WEAK, for your work shall be rewarded!"
When Asa heard these words he worked towards it.
He immediately took courage and did the needful
✋Removed the abominable idols.
✋Restored the altar of the Lord.
✋Gathered all the people.
✋entered into a covenant to seek the Lord.
Since he heard these words and used his hands in the right way as commanded through the prophet he was blessed and he saw no war till the 35th year of his reign.
Even God wants to bless the work of our hands.But He expects us to use it in the right way so that He can reward us.
✋How can our hands be strong and be used in the right way?
✋when we lift up our hands to Bless the Lord. Psalms 134:2
✋ hands that are lifted up to pray without wrath and doubting -1 Timothy 2:8
✋when we cleanse our hands James 4:8
✋when we do heartily in the name of the Lord. 1 Col3:17, 23-24.
✋when our hand is diligent Prov. 12:24, 10:4
But all this is possible only when we:
Humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God and then He will exalt us in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
With Prayers, Suneeta.
We see King Solomon prospering on many fronts, 2 Chronicles 8. However, there were enemies that he did not conquer, but used them as servants and made them pay tribute, vs 8. He was careful to offer numerous burnt offerings at the appointed times, as well as, ensure that the priests and Levites were faithful in carrying out their duties, vs 12-15. Even the Queen of Sheba was so impressed with him and all that she noticed about his rule that she exclaimed that the one half of the greatness of his wisdom was not told, for after seeing for herself, she felt that Solomon exceedest the fame that she had heard concerning him, 2 Chronicles 9:3-6!
However, in the midst of all the good things that he did, there were other things which he did, which went in direct contradiction to God's Word! For instance, he married the daughter of Pharoah, who was an Egyptian, vs 11, and besides her many other foreign wives, and as if that wasn't enough, he had several concubines too! He was very involved in accumulating silver and gold together with King Hiram of Tyre, 2 Chronicles 8:18. Besides this, accumulating chariots and horses was another passion that he held on to, 2 Chronicles 9:25,28! Now had these not been the very things that God had forbidden, it would not have been a problem, but the fact of the matter was that these things that he did went in direct opposition to the law of God as mentioned in Deuteronomy 17:16,17!
He took pains to see that those under him did their duties in the temple of God, 2 Chronicles 8:13-15, but whether he took heed to write, read, learn and keep those laws himself as Deuteronomy 17:18-20 commanded, was indeed doubtful! This backsliding on Solomon's part had a direct negative effect on his son Rehoboam who became king in his place after his death, 2 Chronicles 10, and who did not repent of the sins of his father Solomon.
Rehoboam chose to follow the counsel of the young men (who instigated him to be hard on the people who came to ask him for mercy), instead of listening to the older men's counsel to be favourable to them. This was because God allowed it to be so, 2 Chronicles 10:15, so that only the tribe of Judah would be ruled by David's descendants, on account of Solomon's backsliding, while the other tribes of Israel would have another king of their own.
Inspite of this break away, Rehoboam did not radically repent, and God sent the king of Egypt and other nations to war against Judah, 2 Chronicles 12:3. At this point, Rehoboam did show some signs of remorse, when the prophet of God rebuked them. So, God relented and did not allow Judah to be taken over by their enemies, but they did lose the treasures of the house of God, and the treasures of the king's house and Solomon's golden shields as well, vs 9. However, inspite of this, in the course of time, he did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord wholly, vs 14.
This was the sad truth about David's descendants! God used various methods to disciple them and get them back to following Him wholeheartedly, but that worked only for a short period of time and once the problem disappeared, they were back to their original backslidden state! How is it with us today?
Do we seek God only in our times of need when he is forced to discipline us because of our apostasies? And when he blesses us, do we invest that blessing back into building and furthering of His kingdom or do we use the blessing selfishly to enhance our own interests?
The sooner we realise that in giving God first priority in our lives by walking in obedience to all His laws, we will enter into His presence in which there is fullness of joy, Psalm 16:11, the less we shall backslide and the more shall we be blessed and so become a blessing to many others too!
Rowena Thomas, Mumbai, India.
2 Chronicles 12 to 17