May 25

 

Read II Chronicles 14 -- 17

 

In Today's Reading:

 

King Asa's reforms; his covenant with God; his treaty with Syria (Aram); Asa rebuked by Hanani; Asa's death; Jehoshaphat succeeds Asa

 

King Asa was the grandson of Rehoboam and the great-grandson of Solomon; but Asa rejected their pagan idols (see II Chronicles 14:1-7). Asa was greatly encouraged by the prophet Azariah the son of Oded (15:1). When Azariah spoke, Asa . . . took courage, and put away the abominable (detestable) idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from Mount Ephraim, and renewed (restored) the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell (defected) to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. . . . And they entered into a covenant (agreement) to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul. . . . and the LORD gave them rest (peace) round about (from war for 10 years) (15:8-9,12,15).

 

Asa left no room for compromise. He took away the sodomites (male cult prostitutes) out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made (I Kings 15:12). He even removed his own grandmother Maachah from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove (shrine for the goddess Asherah); and Asa destroyed her idol, and burned it by the brook Kidron (15:13; see also II Chronicles 15:16).

 

You can be sure that when anyone takes a firm stand for moral and spiritual values Satan will instigate opposition, and then he will seek to bring about a compromise in that person's declaration of faith.

 

Despite his good beginning, as Asa's wealth and power increased, his dependence upon God decreased. Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD your God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand (16:7).

 

Hanani was put in prison for his faithful witness. But his words have imparted immeasurable faith and boldness for all of us to remain faithful in the midst of a hostile world: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him (16:9). And Jesus promised that those who remain firm in their faith shall be hated of all men for My Name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:22).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

Through the rest that God gave Judah (II Chronicles 14:7). Jesus declared: Take My yoke upon you . . . and you shall find rest to your souls (Matthew 11:29).

 

Word Studies:

 

14:15 tents of cattle = livestock enclosures; 15:5 vexations = disturbances, turmoil; 15:16 mother = grandmother; stamped it = crushed it; 16:14 sepulchres = tombs; 17:12 waxed great exceedingly = became increasingly powerful; castles = fortresses, strongholds.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BPM Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Government Officials: Sen. Gordon Smith (OR) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY) · Country: Australia (19 million) an island continent between the Indian and Pacific Oceans · Major languages: English and native languages · Religious freedom · 40% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 3% Orthodox; 2% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Ask that God's will be done in your life (Luke 22:42).

 

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 12

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 4:3