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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25 - 1 Kings 15:1-24; 2 Chronicles 13-16: Two Imperfect Kings Call Out to the Perfect God

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 15:1-24; 2 Chronicles 13-16

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

The men of Judah, even though they were not perfectly following God's Law cried out and God gave them victory.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Abijah followed his father's wickedness; however, God kept David's promise.
Jeroboam used Abijah's overtures for peace as a military trap. Abijah's soldiers cried out to God and were victorious.
Abijah's son Asa became king next. Asa cried out to God and He gave them victory over the Ethiopians.
Judah revived their covenant with God. Asa took down many idols, but not all. He removed his mother's throne because she made an idol.
Later, he asked Aram to help fight Israel instead of God and was punished. Asa turned sour against God and died in his bitterness. He reigned 41 years.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

When God's Chosen People call out to Him, He gives them victory.

Abijah was not considered a righteous king. He was not worthy of David's promise but God kept him in power anyway. When Jeroboam attacked Abijah from a stronger strategic position, God saved Abijah and his men. Why did God do this? Because Abijah and his men cried out to God. Even when we are not fully converted to letting God set all things right in our lives, God loves and cares for us.
Later, Asa would have a major military victory over the Ethiopians because he cried out to God.

When God's Chosen People call out to Him, He gives them peace.

I love how king Asa cleaned up the country and renewed Israel's vow with God. God, in turn, did not disappoint.
The whole country felt good about the covenant promise - they had given their promise joyfully from the heart. Anticipating the best, they had sought God - and he showed up, ready to be found. God gave them peace within and without - a most peaceable kingdom! (2 Chronicles 15:15, The Message)
Here is the interesting part: Asa did not completely rid the countryside of idols. But God overlooked that issue and granted Judah peace anyway, because "he was well-intentioned - his heart was in the right place, loyal to God" (15:17). Even when we are not fully converted to letting God set all things right in our lives, God will give us peace if we have our hearts in the right place.

When God's Chosen People ignore God, God ignores His Chosen People.

Unfortunately, Asa did not remain a good king all of his life. When Baasha attacked Judah, Asa did not call upon God to save them. He went to Ben-Hadad, king of Aram to ask that he stop backing Baasha. Because he ignored God, God ignored him. To Asa's discredit, he did not react well to the news and punished Hanani for bringing God's message. He did not learn from his mistake, either, and died from an infection. The saddest part was that God was willing to help Asa, "God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him" (16:9). God will always answer those who call out to Him. He will not answer those who ignore Him.

Do you cry out to God in your moments of need?

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