God Keeps His Pledge
Merciful God, inform my mind, be in my thoughts, speak to me from Your Word today.
Read 2 Chronicles 14:1-15:19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
King Asa wholeheartedly followed God. God rewarded him with wealth, advice, and a peaceful kingdom. But in his security, Asa started relying on his own wisdom and strength. That’s a warning for us.
The people divided, the treasure lost, the leadership corrupted… today’s reading can encourage you if your church or community is like that.
The new king does what is good in the eyes of the Lord, and Judah obeys his laws. The result? First, restoration of rest to the land and the kingdom (14:1,5,6,8; 15:15,19). Several different Hebrew words are used here which reflect the theme of rest for the land, a theme that dominates Joshua, and is picked up by Chronicles to describe the time of Solomon (1 Chron. 22:9,18; 23:25). Second, restoration of riches to the people and the Temple. The account of the Cushite war reminds us of the likelihood of attack from outside when God’s people are at peace among themselves, and challenges us to rely on God to fight on our behalf. It is also the occasion to regain the wealth lost to Shishak. Jewish tradition says that Zera the Cushite captured the Jewish treasure from Shishak so that Israel quite literally regained her treasure. Third, restoration of people to Judah. In 15:9 we read of “large numbers” who joined the southern kingdom and renewed their covenant with God. Their motivation underlines another of the central themes of Chronicles; the whole point of the messianic kingdom and the Temple was that God would dwell among his people. These chapters insist that God’s accessibility depends only on his people’s seeking him (see 14:7,11; 15:2,4,9,15).
There is one more thing needed to restore all that was lost at the time of Rehoboam: the reunification of the kingdom. Will God also achieve this through Asa? Will Asa persevere in godliness? And how will he handle Israel’s riches?
Verses 3-6 of ch. 15 can be read in either the past or the future tense. How do the two tenses challenge you in your work for God?
Lord, hard times can cause frustration but I know easy times present a different temptation. Show me when I’m relying on my own strength, not on Yours.
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