Written while at: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS, USA
Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 14:2-6
Translation: The Message (MSG)
Bible Text: 2-6 Asa was a good king. He did things right in God’s eyes. He cleaned house: got rid of the pagan altars and shrines, smashed the sacred stone pillars, and chopped down the sex-and-religion groves (Asherim). He told Judah to center their lives in God, the God of their fathers, to do what the law said, and to follow the commandments. Because he got rid of all the pagan shrines and altars in the cities of Judah, his kingdom was at peace. Because the land was quiet and there was no war, he was able to build up a good defense system in Judah. God kept the peace.
OBSERVATION: I often wonder when we are so determined to please everyone around us, whether we are really capable of standing firm in our commitment to serve God alone. Asa showed us in today’s Scripture that one could serve God, whether no one else around you did. How do you do under pressure? Are you strong enough to hold strong to your own belief system, even when among strong opposition? Let’s see how Asa made out with this, and how we might apply this to our own lives.
APPLICATION: In the words of a former boss: it would have been ‘easy-peasy’ for Asa to come into his position as king, and do the same ole, same ole. It would have been smoother for him to do what the people were doing and just continue to worship the same old idols. But we could see from our Scripture today that Asa had a relationship with the Creator of this world, and he chose to worship and obey only God. He wasn’t about to have a meltdown and soften his stance, for He knew in whom He believed, and that He would keep him secure right to the very end. Furthermore looking at Asa’s story many years after the fact, we could see that because Asa obeyed what God led him to do, he was actually preparing himself for a day when God would actually save he and his people from total destruction. I believe that Asa decided in his heart that he would serve God, and God alone, and that he would not only listen to God from a personal perspective, but that He would depend solely on God for the decisions involving the country he was assigned to lead. Friends, I don’t know about you, but when we are hired on by a company to lead a team of workers, the challenge is not merely to understand the work, although that is very important, but more so, there is an enormous task to lead the team in working together to produce the best results for the employer. This is a much deeper challenge, for there will be staff who are like you, and wanting to do the best job possible, while working harmoniously together with other team members. However, there are some who are out for selfish gain and out to tear others down so they could get ahead. Throughout your day, you have absolutely no idea what will transpire between those team members, nor how your day may be totally disrupted by the personal issues impacting your team. If you knew what to expect, then you could pray especially for those individuals and their challenges, but more often than not, you have no idea. Over my 47 years in the workforce, I found that there was One who knew all about the things that I thought was impossible. So with my hand in the hand of the Master, I asked God to help me through each day and to give me direction, strength and wisdom to handle every circumstance in a way pleasing to Him. I remember days when I would simply sit back and say silently to God, ‘OK, what’s next God, because I have no idea where to go from here!’. I remember many days when I would reflect back on my day and simply give God praise for His handiwork, because it was evident that He gave me the words to respond in the activities of that day, and He gave me the peace to know that every little thing would be OK. You see, in our story today we could see that Asa was strengthened to do the things that he knew needed to be done. Later in this same chapter, Asa found out that the same God that helped him through the decisions included in today’s verses, He was the same God that Asa would call on when his limited sized army was challenged with the approaching army of over one million soldiers. I hope that we might be reminded today that our God is not just able to handle the smaller things that tend to get in our way, or may cause us to stumble, but He is also the God who could move mountains, raise the dead from the grave, heal the sick and cause the blind to see. There is absolutely no other, like our God my dear friend. Seeing your way through circumstances that appear impossible to you, is but a very simple resolution for our Creator! Have you placed your faith and trust in Him yet? May I please encourage you to read my Footnote and the pages that are linked in that Footnote, so that God may show you, through His Word, that He not only created you, and not only prepared a place for you after life on this old sinful earth, but He is also able, willing and ready to help you through every circumstance of life while here on earth, if you accept Him as Lord and Savior. Do this today dear friend. Jesus is waiting for your call on Him today!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, although I can thank You for life itself, there are so many times here on earth that my readers and I are so overwhelmed that we have no idea where we will turn next. Thank You for using this story of Asa to show us that the same God who defended Asa and his country from the onslaught of a huge army, is also the same God that we can place our faith and trust in for our everyday concerns. Often our concerns may seem just as large as the overwhelming army that was approaching Judah, but praise be to the One true God, we have every confidence that You can win our battles also. Please help us to stand firm in our beliefs, and to act like children of the King in every circumstance of life. May Your name be honored, lifted up and praised today by Your people, in whom You have already done an awesome work, so that we may stand in awe of the One in whom we have believed. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!