Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 13
The God-fearing kingdom of Israel has been over taken. The God appointed Davidic line of kingship has been taken away by a man named Jeroboam, a former servant of Solomon. There is a war taking place between the (once again) rebellious kingdom of Israel, and Judah. Abijah, the ruler of Judah went toe to toe with the mighty kingdom of Israel. He took with him 400,000 men that would stand up against the 800,000 men of Jeroboam and Israel. From a tactical standpoint, I don’t need to go in to the reasons Judah was going to get crushed. Any time you have a 2:1 ratio against you, your odds are not good. Can you imagine the fear that must have been in the minds of the men of Judah as they looked at the sea of men that stood against them? I imagine that the feeling would have been suffocating.
As we see in verse 15, against all odds, Israel was defeated. But notice who’s power the victory came from: God. Judah did not defeat Israel by their own power, it would have been impossible! They defeated the much mightier foe through the power of God. On the other hand, the Israelites worshipped their own idols instead of God. They were falsely thinking that something they created themselves would give them power.
When we try to see where we fit in to this passage written thousands of years ago, the application is simple: we all face a foe everyday that is much more than we can handle by ourselves; but through what Jesus has done for us on the cross, the opposition of sin and Satan has been defeated. I don’t know about you, but in my own life there have been numerous times where I have tried winning on my own. Maybe it’s the sin that you can’t shake, or maybe it’s the person you can’t forgive, but everyone has something in their life that they have tried to handle on their own. What we see from this passage and from the rest of scripture is that we can’t do it on our own! If we’re not growing in our dependence on Jesus, we’re fighting a losing battle. My simple encouragement to you today is to think about the areas of your life that you are trying to draw power from anything other than Jesus, confess it and repent from it. That might be too much of a blunt or simple answer for you, but it’s true. Turn from yourself and run to Jesus. There is nothing you have done or could ever do that is outside the reach of God’s grace through Jesus. Realize that truth is for you, and that the same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in you. This truth has so much power in the life of the church. My hope for you and I is that we begin to live like it!
Posted by: Graham Withers- Pastoral Ministry Apprentice