Daily D – 2 Chronicles 15:1-2
2 Chronicles 15:1, 2
The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “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.” (NIV)
2 Chronicles 15:7
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (NIV)
2 Chronicles 16:9
“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.” (NIV)
King Asa was one of the good kings of Judah, but he did not finish as well as he started. You can read his story in 1 Kings 15:9-24 and 2 Chronicles 14-16.
Notice how God sent two different prophets to him with words of truth, life, and encouragement. The second prophet, Hanani the Seer, had to deliver bad news. We see it above in 2 Chronicles 16:9. The first half of what he said was an echo of what Azariah son of Oded had said in 2 Chronicles 15:2-7. The second half of his message was a word of judgment for not relying on God but on his own schemes.
It is helpful to listen to all God had to say to Asa in context.
1. The LORD is with you when you are with him (1 Kings 15:2).
2. If you seek him (the LORD), he will be found by you.
3. If you forsake him (the LORD), he will forsake you.
4. Be strong and do not give up (1 Kings 15:7).
5. The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
As long as Asa aligned his leadership and attuned his heart with God’s good promises, the best kind of success came his way. When he turned to his own way and did not heed God’s warnings, he experienced failure along with its consequences.
Asa did not handle bad news well.
Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison.
At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.
2 Chronicles 16:10 NIV
Four out of five of God’s words of instruction to Asa above are positive. They provide wise instruction to us today. The negative instruction above is a warning we should take to heart.
We can learn important lessons from Asa’s successes and failures. Here are some instructions leading to God-honoring, others-blessing lives.
1. Stand with God at all times.
2. Seek God first, last, and in all things.
3. Never give up on God.
4. Know that God is always ready to bless our obedience and faith.
You and I can live well and finish well when we take these lessons to heart.
I will finish well by never forsaking God.
Our Father, I take my stand with you. As Martin Luther so famously declared, “I can do no other.” I will seek you first, last, and always. I will never give up on you. I will trust and obey you in all things, at all times. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”