King Asa’s reforms; his covenant with God; his treaty with Syria (Aram); Asa rebuked by Hanani; Asa’s death; Jehoshaphat succeeds Asa
Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought Him, and He hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered (II Chr. 14:7).
Asa was one of the kings of Judah who followed the direction of the Lord. He tore down the altars that had been built to worship false gods by those that had come before him. He also took away all the idols and cut down all the groves.
He commanded that Judah would serve the Lord. He also commanded that they would follow the laws and commandments of God. He made all the necessary movements to turn Judah back to following the Lord.
As a result of the God-fearing actions of Asa, the nation of Judah experienced a time of great peace. Therefore, instead of being forced to utilize resources on war, they were able to build cities that were fortified. This appeared to be a time of prosperity in Judah. The Lord would have us blessed, more so spiritually than physically. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (III John 1:2).
There should be little surprise that the nation prospered and events transpired the way they did. Following God will always pay off in life. Although we do not serve God for earthly rewards, there are often many of those kinds of blessings as we walk with God. These blessings could be physical, but they are even more likely to be spiritual in nature. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3).
Think about the actual blessing that was given to Asa and Judah here. It might seem to be the prosperity. Some might say it was the ability to increase the nation by building. Others might cite the protection they would be allowed from the walls and other construction.
The real blessing here was peace. It was because it was a time of peace that all the other things transpired. Too often in life, the physical blessing is valued over the spiritual. This particular time of peace was really both physical and spiritual.
Peace, in the spiritual sense, is a blessing from God. It can't truly be found outside of God. It is an inner peace that comes only through belonging to Christ and living a life dedicated to God and it is available to all of us.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
Thought for Today:
It is not beauty, strength or wealth that makes us great, but only faithfulness to obey God’s Word.
Through the rest that God gave Judah (II Chr. 14:7). Jesus pleads: Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).
14:15 tents of cattle, tents of the cattle herders; 15:5 vexations, disturbances, troubles, turmoil; 15:16 mother, grandmother; stamped it, crushed it to dust; 16:14 sepulchres, tombs; 17:12 waxed great exceedingly, became increasingly powerful; castles, fortresses, strongholds.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) • Country: Ethiopia (60 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: Amharic and Tigrinya • Unsettled after overthrow of communist regime • 41% Eastern Orthodox; 35% Muslim; 10% Protestant; 10% animist; .7% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others (Num. 14:13-19).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:41