Tuesday, September 27, 2011

110927 - 2 Chronicles 11-15 - Seek The Lord while He may be found

S: And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. (2 Chronicles 14:11-12).

O: The reigns of Rehoboam, Abijah and Asa were a time of crisis in Judah. Would they follow God, or turn to idolatry as Israel did? Rehoboam humbled himself at the word of Shemaiah the prophet (12:5-12) but it was only a temporary thing to avoid disaster (v. 14). Abijah inspired faith in God among his army (13:4-12) but his faith seems to have been mainly for that purpose. (1 Kings 15:3) But Asa truly gave his heart to the Lord (14:2-5; 15; 1 Kings 15:14).

A: The actions of the kings and judges of Israel accurately mirror the hearts of men. When facing trouble, we're quick to repent and seek the Lord; when the trouble is over, it's easy to forget the zeal we thought we had for Him. Asa's (which may mean "healer," interestingly enough) reign marked a recalibration away from this trend. For although he did displease the Lord in making a league with Syria (16:7-10), and imprisoning God's corrective messenger, when God apparently wanted him to destroy Syria, and the text remarks that he "sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians" (16:12), he is unique in that he took courage AFTER God delivered him to bring thorough revival, as he understood it, (15:17), to his nation.

P: Lord, thank you for the good examples you provide in your Word, which are only made more effective by the many bad ones. Help me to seek you and purge out sin, even when there seems to be no threat, purely because I want to be pleasing to you.

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