Today's Devotions

Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire +

    It is doubtful if, in 1972, those attending one of Jim Cymbala's worship services in a run-down Brooklyn church imagined Read More
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Don  Carson

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/2-chronicles/passage.aspx?q=2+chronicles+14;2+chronicles+15

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/revelation/4.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/haggai/2.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/john/3.html

2 Chronicles 14–15; Revelation 4; Haggai 2; John 3

THE REIGN OF KING ASA of Judah is instructive on several fronts, and will occupy our attention both today (2 Chron. 14–15) and tomorrow.

Asa's long reign began with ten years of peace (2 Chron. 14:1), "for the LORD gave him rest" (2 Chron. 14:6). During this time Asa "commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands" (2 Chron. 14:4). The people sought the Lord, "and built and prospered" (2 Chron. 14:7). At the end of ten years, Asa faced the devastating power of the Cushite forces (from the upper Nile). Asa could not possibly have forgotten how his grandfather Rehoboam was subjugated by Shishak of Egypt (2 Chron. 12). Asa's own conduct is exemplary, a foretaste of how his descendant Hezekiah would handle himself centuries later when he faced the Babylonians: he called on the Lord, frankly acknowledging his utter powerlessness against such forces. "Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you" (2 Chron. 14:11). By whatever means (the text does not specify), the Lord answers, and Asa's relatively tiny army crushes the Cushite host.

Enter Azariah son of Oded, a prophet with a message of encouragement for Asa and for all Judah and Benjamin (2 Chron. 15:1–2). Reflecting on the terrible years of anarchy under the closing years of the judges and the opening years of the monarchy, when travel and trade were dangerous and when the Levites were not sufficiently disciplined and organized to teach the people, Azariah encourages king and people alike to seek the Lord, for "he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you" (2 Chron. 15:2). Such a message strengthens Asa's resolve. He proceeds against the remaining idolatry in the land and pours resources into the maintenance of the temple. This is the covenant community, and under Asa it begins to act like one. "They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side" (2 Chron. 15:15) for a further quarter century, to the thirty-fifth year of Asa's reign (2 Chron. 15:19). The "high places" were not removed (2 Chron. 15:17)—a residue of competition with the temple—but for the most part Asa was a straight arrow.

We should not be embarrassed by the blessing of God on integrity and righteousness. Righteousness exalts a nation: it lifts it up and strengthens its hand. This is not merely a sociological inference: it is the way God has structured things, the way he providentially rules. Inversely, corruption attracts the wrath of God, and sooner or later will bring a nation down.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/2013/12/13/2-chronicles-14%e2%80%9315-revelation-4-haggai-2-john-3/

Reflections to Consider

  • Corporate Spirituality

    Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship Solitude, community and ministry are three areas requiring balance and integration in the Christian walk. The Read More
  • Companion of the Souls

    When the two disciples recognised Jesus as he broke the bread for them in their house in Emmaus, he "vanished Read More
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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Warfare Spirituality +

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free +

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
  • Deliver us from Evil +

    Spiritual warfare is something that few Christians, regardless of their denomination, are accustomed to thinking about, let alone engaging in. Read More
  • Baby, you're a rich man! +

    The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is Read More
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