Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 15; 2 Chronicles 16

Today’s Scripture reading continues a study of King Asa’s reign in Judah. Because the events in 2 Chronicles 16 were considered in a prior study of 1 Kings 15, the focus of this devotional will be 2 Chronicles 15.

The Prophet Azariah’s Exhortation to King Asa (2 Chronicles 15:1-7)

The “Spirit of God” moved Azariah, the Lord’s prophet, to meet the king and challenge Asa with the conditions of God’s blessings. Azariah prophesied, “The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2). Azariah continued, “3Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law5And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries” (2 Chronicles 15:3, 5).

Application – So it is for any nation, people, or man who rejects the LORD.

“Without the true God,” and without a faithful preacher, “and without the law” (2 Chronicles 15:3), a society descends into lawlessness, and there is no peace! Yet, there is still hope if men will “turn unto the LORD” and seek Him (2 Chronicles 15:4). However, should a nation continue to reject the LORD, it will be vexed and troubled (2 Chronicles 15:6).

Azariah concluded his appeal to King Asa and said, “Be ye strong therefore and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7; note Deuteronomy 31:6-7; Joshua 1:6-7, 9; Ephesians 6:10).

King Asa’s Revival (2 Chronicles 15:8-15)

In the prior study, we learned that Asa began his reign with a heart that was “good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God” (2 Chronicles 14:2). He “commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law, and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:4).

Yet, as we come to today’s passage, the heart of Asa had waned in his commitment to the LORD. Fifteen years had passed since he became king (2 Chronicles 15:10), and like many that grow weary, he became less vigilant. Tragically, the king and Judah became tolerant of “abominable idols,” and the altar of the Temple fell into disrepair (2 Chronicles 15:8).

 

Who might have diminished Asa’s passion for the LORD? (2 Chronicles 15:16-19)

Sadly, it was possibly the influence of his family. Asa’s grandmother, Maachah, the widow of Rehoboam, mother of Abijah, and the Queen Mother during Asa’s reign (2 Chronicles 15:16), had a prominent place and influence in his life. In his zeal to serve the LORD, Asa had to deal with his household, and that was accomplished in this:

[King Asa] removed [Maachah] from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron” (2 Chronicles 15:16).

King Asa had tolerated his grandmother’s sins and failed the LORD. Thus, he was weakened, and inevitably, sin robbed him and the nation of God’s blessings. When the king turned his heart to the LORD to obey Him, God rewarded Asa’s reform, and the people of Judah sought the LORD “with their whole desire” (2 Chronicles 15:15), and “there was no more war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa” (2 Chronicles 15:19).

“be ye strong…let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”

Closing thoughts –

One of the most significant challenges believers face is addressing the sins of loved ones. A rebellious son or daughter who rejects his or her spiritual training leads parents to a heartrending dilemma: Either lovingly confront the sin and face the wrath of a rebel, or accommodate the sin and betray the LORD and His Word.

As it was with Asa, so it is with many spiritual leaders: When a leader permits sin to go unchallenged in his household, the influence of his compromise robs him and his ministry of God’s blessings. Sadly, that truth is seen in the steady decline and failure of churches, schools, and Christian colleges worldwide.

Let us embrace the prophet’s challenge to King Asa and “be ye strong…let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals by entering your name and email address at the bottom of today’s devotion.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization. Your donation is welcome and supports the worldwide ministry outreach of www.HeartofAShepherd.com.