1 Kings 15:1-14; 2 Chronicles 13-16
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Kings%2015:1-14,%202%20Chronicles%2013-16&version=NLT
Abijah, (same as Abijam), was now King of Judah (The Southern Kingdom). Abijah was the son of Rehoboam. Jeroboam went to war against Abijah. However, Abijah took a stand for The Lord and from a mountain top he confronted Jeroboam by saying …..don’t you know there is a Covenant here!…I am of the line of David and the line of David is Chosen! You have completely broken the law by allowing anyone who brings sacrifices to your false gods to become a priest. Don’t you know that priests can ONLY come from the line of Aaron and the Levites!!?? Israel (the Northern Kingdom) lead by Jeroboam ignored this and attacked Judah anyway. Judah fought, having the Levite priests sound the trumpets (ushering the Lord in) and Judah won (well, God won it for them). Abijah died and was only in office 3 years. In Kings we are told that Abijah was much like his father, Rehoboam, had many wives and concubines, and committed many of the same sins his father did. However, In 2 Chronicles 13 we are also told that Abijah took a stand FOR the LORD, and God fought the battle for Judah …..for the sake of David which is WHY there was victory Jeroboam!! Abijah’s son, Asa took over in his place (this is all on the side of Judah).
Asa, a king who “did right in the eyes of the Lord” took over and totally “cleaned house.” He banished the male and female shrine prostitutes from the land, got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. He even dethroned his grandmother Maacah from her position as the queen mother BECAUSE she didn’t just worship other gods but she MADE and obscene Asherah pole. Asa, cut that bad boy DOWN and BURNED it!! Unfortunately he did not remove all the pagan shrines, but Asa’s HEART remained completely faithful to the Lord throughout his life. He got rid of all the false religion and built clean healthy cities.
In Chapter 14 the Cushites/Ethiopians brought great armies to attack Judah. Asa called on The Lord and once again The Lord won the battle for Judah. If you compare the two readings of when Abijah and when Asa KNEW they were out numbered and about to be slaughtered they are both beautiful accounts of how The Lord heard their prayers and answered. Abijah brought peace to Judah again and under Asa, Judah lived in peace for another 10 years.
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. For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought HIM with ALL their hearts, and HE was found by them.
Asa was very committed to the Lord (for a while), and THEN he failed. How did he fail you may be asking? He failed by not remembering ALL that the Lord had done for his nation and turned to a pagan king for help. When Asa turned to Aram he was revealing A LOT about himself, that he now was relying on MAN and treaties. (We can see how EASY it is to make A very poor choice in relying on the world’s ways rather than God, that leads to pride, and a heart turned from God.) A seer (a prophet) named Hanani spoke to Asa regarding what his actions of dealing with King Aram ……. what did Asa do…. he put Hanani in PRISON (ummmmm….kind of like shooting the messenger!!) Not only did he put him in prison but he also began oppressing people (not good!) Sadly from this point on, Asa did not return to God. EVEN with his serious foot disease….he relied only on his worldly physicians rather than asking God to help him. Don’t you wonder if Asa KNEW that God was no longer protecting him? It seems his focus had changed to treaties with other kings…..and his foot being treated by doctors…and neither worked, but I am not sure Asa even noticed or remembered that he could have called on the name of The Lord as he had in the battle with the Ethiopians/Cushites…..SAD.
God desires us to WANT HIM….to seek HIM, to ask HIM, to know HIM with ALL our hearts. He loves to hear our prayers. He loves to show up in unexpected ways for all HIS children. Do you know how much HE loves you?
I’d love to her your input about today’s reading, what touched you, did God highlight anything on the page for you?
Sharing HIS love,