II CHRONICLES CHAPTER 14 & 15 STUDY, 10.10.19
FIND GUIDELINES FOR LIVING SUCCESSFULLY WITHIN GOD’S WILL & BLESSINGS
We move on from Abijah, to his son, Asa who took over the kingship after his father’s death.
The writer tells us that Asa was basically a good king, following Yahweh’s commands and walking in His ways.
Let us read about some of the details, and study this further, after doing so:
2 Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God.
3 He removed the foreign altars and the pagan shrines. He smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles.
4 He commanded the people of Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his law and his commands.
5 Asa also removed the pagan shrines, as well as the incense altars from every one of Judah’s towns. So Asa’s kingdom enjoyed a period of peace.
6 During those peaceful years, he was able to build up the fortified towns throughout Judah. No one tried to make war against him at this time, for the Lord was giving him rest from his enemies.
7 Asa told the people of Judah, “Let us build towns and fortify them with walls, towers, gates, and bars. The land is still ours because we sought the Lord our God, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they went ahead with these projects and brought them to completion.
8 King Asa had an army of 300,000 warriors from the tribe of Judah, armed with large shields and spears. He also had an army of 280,000 warriors from the tribe of Benjamin, armed with small shields and bows. Both armies were composed of well-trained fighting men.
9 Once an Ethiopian named Zerah attacked Judah with an army of 1,000,000 men and 300 chariots. They advanced to the town of Mareshah,
10 so Asa deployed his armies for battle in the valley north of Mareshah.
11 Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, “O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for
we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!”
12 So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians in the presence of Asa and the army of Judah, and the enemy fled.
13 Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar, and so many Ethiopians fell that they were unable to rally. They were destroyed by the Lord and his army, and the army of Judah carried off a vast amount of plunder.
14 While they were at Gerar, they attacked all the towns in that area, and terror from the Lord came upon the people there. As a result, a vast amount of plunder was taken from these towns, too.
15 They also attacked the camps of herdsmen and captured many sheep, goats, and camels before finally returning to Jerusalem.
II CHRON. CHAPTER 15:
1 Then the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded,
2 and he went out to meet King Asa as he was returning from the battle. “Listen to me, Asa!” he shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.
3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach them, and without the Law to instruct them.
4 But whenever they were in trouble and turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him out, they found him.
5 “During those dark times, it was not safe to travel. Problems troubled the people of every land.
6 Nation fought against nation, and city against city, for God was troubling them with every kind of problem.
7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
8 When Asa heard this message from Azariah the prophet, he took courage and removed all the detestable idols from the land of Judah and Benjamin and in the towns he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, which stood in front of the entry room of the Lord’s Temple.
9 Then Asa called together all the people of Judah and Benjamin, along with the people of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had settled among them. For many from Israel had moved to Judah during Asa’s reign when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.
10 The people gathered at Jerusalem in late spring, during the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign.
11 On that day they sacrificed to the Lord 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep and goats from the plunder they had taken in the battle.
12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul.
13 They agreed that anyone who refused to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, would be put to death—whether young or old, man or woman.
14 They shouted out their oath of loyalty to the Lord with trumpets blaring and rams’ horns sounding.
15 All in Judah were happy about this covenant, for they had entered into it with all their heart. They earnestly sought after God, and they found him. And the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side.
16 King Asa even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole. He cut down her obscene pole, broke it up, and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
17 Although the pagan shrines were not removed from Israel, Asa’s heart remained completely faithful throughout his life.
18 He brought into the Temple of God the silver and gold and the various items that he and his father had dedicated.
19 So there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.
Although there are overlaps in the theme and principles from the previous STUDY, repetitive reinforcement is apparently necessary in order for God’s people to walk in them. This is evidenced by the ongoing battle with the flesh that God’s people continue to struggle with.
There are additional examples of specific behaviours, and details that supplement our understanding of how God works, what we need to do in response to that, and the extent to which His principles give us really good guidelines for how to live, for understanding what/how to please our Father, and receive His blessings. These ways of walking also strengthen our faith and remove all doubt and fear.
It is useful to our walk with the Lord to understand how God works, what He expects, and how we can maximize our ability to please Him. Our sense of assurance and security in our relationship with Him is upheld when we walk in obedience and faith that brings blessings. It is critical for us to connect the dots that join God’s expectations to how we live out our own lives, and identify what we ourselves need to do in our minds, wills, emotions, as well as overt behaviour that will make a difference. Remember that the mind is a minefield for the Enemy to prey on. If our attitude, heart, will, etc. is not aligned with the Father’s, the fiery darts and arrows that the Enemy sends will bear fruit for him, and loss for us.
So let us ensure that we GO DEEPER, ENHANCING our walk, & our ability to keep the Enemy at bay, as well as maximize our blessings.
2 Chronicles chapter 14:2-15
2 Chronicles chapter 15 (all)
© 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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