Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 16
King Asa of Judah successfully led a campaign to turn the southern kingdom of Judah back to God. He was relentless in his purging of pagan alters and high places of worship, asherah poles, sacred stones, and anyone who refused to worship the one true God of Israel. The guy even deposed his own grandmother from her position on his court for her part in creating an idol to worship! For all his faithfulness to God and his efforts to lead the people of Judah back to God, God gave them rest from their enemies and He revealed Himself to them.
But, in the 36th year of his reign, the peace that had long been enjoyed by Judah would come to an end. King Baasha of Israel (the northern kingdom) was building a fort that threatened Judah. So, King Asa decided to take matters into his own hands and turn to a pagan king (King Ben-Hadad) of Aram for help, instead of turning to The Lord.
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8 Were not the Cushites[b] and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen[c]? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
Unfortunately, this is a common theme for the nation of Israel throughout many generations. They turn to God and He restores them and gives them peace, and then they turn from God and worship idols and seek help from their pagan neighbors. Asa had seen God move in mighty ways in his life and in the life of his nation because he had faithful served The Lord and led his people to do the same. But, the fact that Asa sought help from pagan nations rather than from God was a sign of his spiritual decline, and the spiritual decline of Judah. His confidence in God had slipped. So, when Hanani the prophet called him out, he threw him in prison because he was unwilling to face the truth of his sin against God and his pride was a hindrance to his relationship with God the rest of his life.
How does Asa’s story apply to you today? Take a moment to pray through these questions and answer them to yourself:
• What things are you placing your trust in rather than God?
• Where do you turn in times of trouble rather than turning to God?
• If someone confronted you with sin in your life, how would you react? Or, how have you reacted in the past when confronted with sin in your life?
• Does your pride keep you from admitting your failures to God and humbling yourself before Him?
Take some time right now and pray that God would show you the areas of your life that need to be turned over to Him (Idols that need to be removed). Pray that He would show you areas of your life that your pride has gotten in the way of your relationship with Him. Pray that God would renew your confidence in Him and draw closer to you than ever before. We know that when we seek God with all our hearts, He will be found!
2 Chronicles 15:15 15 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.
Posted by: Matt Mofield