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King Asa's reforms; his covenant with God; his league with Syria; Asa rebuked by Hanani; Jehoshaphat succeeds Asa.
The Lord is with you, while ye be with Him . . . but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you (II Chr. 15:2).
Having learned that the Lord would be with him, Asa led the nation in a great revival. His faith was put to the test when he was confronted with an invading army almost two-to-one larger than his army. But Asa prayed and said . . . help us, O Lord . . . in Thy Name we go against this multitude (14:11) and the victory was overwhelming. When we place our trust in the Lord, we will find that the possibilities are boundless. Asa discovered this quickly. No earthly army is capable of overcoming God and His chosen. The size, skill and weaponry of an army make no difference. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Rom. 8:37). There is no force anywhere that can defeat God. Therefore, we are guaranteed a victory in the war of life when we put all our trust in God.
As Asa's wealth and power increased, his dependence upon God decreased. When the small army of Israelites invaded Judah, he hired Ben-hadad to fight the battle for him instead of praying. No longer could he say to God, help us . . . for we rest on thee (II Chr. 14:11). It is a shame that this happens in many of our lives. Why is it that when times are hard, it is so easy to turn to God? However, in the good times, we find it easy to rely on ourselves. God is the God of the mountain and in the valley. He is God in times of light and in times of darkness. He is God when the sky is sunny and when storms rage.
The temptation to rely on our clever manipulations is as real today as it was for Asa. We so often feel we are more qualified than God to handle life's problems. Instead of turning it all over to God, we try to handle things ourselves. The vanity and pride of mankind are some of its greatest shortcomings. We are foolish enough to place more trust in our own intellect and reasoning than in Him. Asa was warned — if ye forsake Him (the Lord), He will forsake you (II Chr. 15:1-2). And like Asa, one sin leads to another and we lose God's protection (16:7-14). We should be seeking the mind of Christ in every one of our decisions in life. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:16).
Nevertheless, I have something against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent (Rev. 2:4-5).
Thought for Today:
Unless our confidence is in God, we are powerless against the attacks of Satan.
Through the rest that God gave Judah (II Chr. 14:7). Jesus pleads: Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).
14:15 tents of cattle = tents of the cattle herders; 15:5 vexations = disturbances, troubles, turmoil; 15:16 mother = grandmother; stamped it = crushed it to dust; 16:14 sepulchres = tombs; 17:12 waxed great exceedingly = became increasingly powerful; castles = fortresses, strongholds.
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 6:1
James 1: 8 - 14
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.