2 Chronicles 15
-The Spirit of God came upon the prophet Azariah to pronounce His word over the situation in Judah and Benjamin. “The LORD is with you when you are with Him (faith statement). And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (in the blessing sense). For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. But, in their distress they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him (Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7-8). In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. But you (Asa and all people of God), be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work (2 Chronicles 15:1-7).” Asa’s response to this message emboldened him to remove all the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim (2 Chronicles 15:8). He restored the alter in front of the porch of the LORD in Jerusalem, and many of the inhabitants from the Northern Kingdom (from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon) defected to Judah when they saw that the LORD was with them (2 Chronicles 15:9-10). They sacrificed to the LORD together in unity and entered a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and soul (2 Chronicles 15:11-12). Whoever would not seek God was abolished by death, and they made an oath to the LORD their God with loud shouting and voice with trumpets and horns and with rejoicing whole heartedness and earnestness (2 Chronicles 15:13-15). With this, the LORD gave them rest again on every side and prosperity as even the Queen Mother, Maacah, mother of Asa was released from her position of authority because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah. This image was cut down by her son Asa, crushed, and thrown into the Kidron Valley brook just outside and down the mountain from Jerusalem. Although there was still idolatry to the north in Israel and their high places remained in the Promised Land, Asa’s heart was blameless all his days in Judah, and there was no more war until the 35th year of his reign (2 Chronicles 15:16-19).
-*Application* What does it mean to have God with you? This is significant in this chapter and a major theme throughout Scripture. What we are talking about is Emmanuel, or in other words, His abiding presence upon us and with the New Covenant IN us through the work of Jesus Christ and His sent Holy Spirit. God wants to master us and bless us in this relationship, but He doesn’t ever force it upon us. He lets us choose the degree of fellowship in our walk with Him. Again as we see in this chapter it all boils down to an issue of the heart (2 Chronicles 15:12, 17). Allow your heart to be completely His and He will certainly be with you. Forsake Him, and you will bear the consequences of a rebellious heart and soul.
Verses to Memorize: 2 Chronicles 15:2, 4, 7