Friday, February 1, 2008

2 Chronicles 15 also 1 Kings 15:9-15

What is this passage all about?

Encouraged by the prophecy of Azariah, Asa assembled Judah (in the 15th year of his reign) and they took an oath to the LORD, entering into a covenant to seek Him.

What can I learn from this passage?

At this time, Israel was experiencing life without the true God (v3), without priests to teach or God's law. Many people who lived in Israel's lands immediately to the north and south of Judah (v9) "had come over to him [Asa] when they saw the LORD his God was with him." Some of these undoubtedly were from the towns in Ephraim in Israel that had been captured in Abijah's reign (2 Ch 13:19) or in Asa's (2 Ch 15:8).

Azariah told Asa and Judah (vv2,7), " '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. ... But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.' " Azariah's comments to them must have encouraged them greatly, judging from their response. Asa embarked on a program to destroy the pagan places and symbols of worship (v8). He didn't hesitate in this even for his grandmother who had made an Asherah pole, but destroyed the pole and punished Maacah by taking away her royal position (v16). According to v17, "Asa's heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life."

Asa also called the people who lived throughout his nation to a grand sacrifice (vv10-11). The people made promises "to seek the LORD... with all their heart and soul" (v12). This reminds me of Deuteronomy 6:5, where Moses told the Israelites to "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your sould and with all your strength." The enthusiasm of the people of Judah at this time was overwhelming. They planned to put to death all who would not commit to the LORD (v13), but (perhaps in the face of this plan) all Judah took the oath wholeheartedly, with loud celebrations (v14a). The people of Judah (v14b) "sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side."

How can I apply this to my own life?

I have to ask myself, am I so devoted to God as Asa and his people? Do I eagerly seek God with all that is in me? Am I fully committed to Him? Or is there some part of my life that I try to keep seperate and will not submit to Him? I think there are times when I try to ignore God's voice in my life, whether He is speaking to me through His word in the Bible, His Holy Spirit in me, or through my husband whom He has given to lead me. I do struggle with submitting to Jeff or even just letting him lead while I follow, particularly when it comes to things that involve the household. And I know that Jeff is happy to have our household under my control pretty much, but sometimes I forget that I'm meant to be helping him and not so much the other way around (even though I know he's meant to love me as Christ does, which is also a very big ask...).

From another perspective, I will admit I can get sidetracked too easily at church. I know that this is a season when we have to be training our children, and I cannot expect to hear every word the minister says, or be able to join in every hymn and song, but there are times when I don't even make myself try. It sometimes feels easier to get caught up in what the children are doing that to put in the effort to seek to meet God and listen to the message He has for me each Sunday. I think I'll have to

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