Saturday, July 25, 2009

Learning from 2 Chronicles

Reading in 2 Chronicles has me really challenged and and has me asking God, "Am I serving You wholeheartedly?" Much of this book of the Bible is a chronicle (hence the name, of course!) of the kings of Israel and Judah. Each time I've come to a chapter involving a king who lived in obedience to God, I'm captivated. I love to see what God had to say about them, and how their lives impacted their world.

Even though I've read 2 Chronicles before, you know how God's Word is. Every time you read it, so many new things are opened up to you, by the help of the Holy Spirit!

I've been amazed this time around at some of the bold statements and promises I've found nestled in this book.

This one is about King Abijah of Judah. 2 Chronicles 2:14-15 & 18 says, Judah turned and saw that they were being attacked at both front and rear. Then they cried out to the LORD. The priests blew their trumpets, and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. At the sound of their battle cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah...and the men of Judah were victorious because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers.

I was excited to be reminded that I must always cry out to the Lord, and that when I rely on Him, I will be victorious!

When King Abijah died, his son Asa took the throne after him. The Bible has good things to say about King Asa. Once, when faced with an overwhelming military threat, this is the prayer Asa prayed: LORD, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on You, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against You. Again, you see reliance on the Lord; you see a humble, worshipful request for help. Doesn't it just get your blood going, to think that we have a God like this who responds to our prayers and cries?!

Oh, and I didn't even mention the way God answered King Asa's petition. The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled (2 Chronicles 14:12). God, Yahweh, brought about a decisive victory for Asa.

After a time, a prophet named Azaraiah came to King Asa with this promise/warning. He said, Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when 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 15:2).

The Bible says Asa took courage at these words, and in response, he destroyed idols, repaired the temple altar, and assembled all his people. At that assembly, something wonderful happened. They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side. (2 Chronicles 15:12-15).

Oh, that I, that we, that the people of our nation would do such a thing! Imagine the impact of the lives of people who seek God with all their hearts; who shout and rejoice at making a wholehearted oath to seek Him. Can you think of how people would be drawn to Jesus by observing the joy and satisfaction of individuals who are pursuing God with all their heart and soul?

Let us seek God eagerly, and find Him!

Oh, and here's a plot spoiler. 2 Chronicles 16 tells of Asa's last days. He did not finish well, sadly. So that is another prayer we can lift to the Lord - asking Him to make us faithful to Him all our days.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, thank you for sharing your insights on Chronicles. I enjoyed reading your observations. The Word is so rich... seek it like treasure.