Asa – strong start…not so strong finish

2 Chron 14-16 today.

Asa is now king of Judah.  (the kingdom of Israel is divided at this point…)   Asa starts strong – “did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.” (14:2).  He took away the places of worship of false gods, he “had no war in those years, for the LORD gave him peace” (14:6).  He gave credit to God for all this “the land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God” (14:7)

He runs into a tiny problem when the Ethiopian army of 1 MILLION comes up against tiny Judah. He prays, seeks the LORD; and the LORD gives him an incredible victory (14:12)

He encourages the people with profound challenging words:

The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, hie will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

He starts a nationwide re-dedication to the LORD, renewing their commitment to Him. (15:12-15). And his heart was wholly true to the Lord all his days (15:17)

Sounds like a great start, eh?  Yes it does…but then he runs into another problem with Baasha, now king of the rest of Israel who comes against him.  What does Asa do?  Run to the LORD?  Seek him with all his heart? Um…no.  Not really.  He runs to the King of Syria, and actually takes gold from the house of GOD to give to the King of Syria to buy his support and protection from Baasha.

Say what?  Really?

What about relying on the LORD?  What about those MILLION Ethiopians? What about all that talk about the renewal, re-dedication?  What about your own words, Asa – If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

Needless to say, it doesn’t work out very well for our friend Asa.  He is told by a prophet, that because he has forsaken God; the wonderful peace he has been enjoying is now officially over.  Welcome back to war time.(16:9)

In our life journey of faith – we all have ups, downs – times when we are seeking the Lord more than others.  Times where we utterly forget he is there – and we rely on other people and even ourselves to get us out of whatever situation we are in.  In those moments, we are being unfaithful and we are short-circuiting the growth opportunity God has for us.  God’s primary will for us is our sanctification (1 Thes 4:3a) – and that comes thru all the little, and not so little, challenges in life.  We need to be looking to God as our strength and wisdom, His word for instruction – he will reward those who earnestly seek Him. We need to actively rooting out all known sin in our lives, and re-dedicating ourselves to follow God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength – every day! Whatever he brings into our lives, he brings for HIS glory and our growth to be more like Christ.   Check out Romans 8:28-29. Don’t just stop at v28 and call it a day…you cannot separate those verses – because v29 tells you what the “good” is that is mentioned in 28:

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together h for good, [1] for i those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he j foreknew he also k predestined l to be conformed to the image of his Son,

God promises that he will be there to lift us up, I close with an encouraging verse right from the end of our section in 2 Chronicles today:

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.


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