Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. ~2 Chronicles 15:7
The Christian life is one of mountains and valleys, victories and defeats, wins and losses, and accomplishments and failures. We tend to be short-sighted and not look far enough ahead to prepare ourselves against attacks from the enemy. This morning, we see from the life of King Asa what we should do after every victory.
We see the conquering.
“And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil.” King Asa and Judah were given a decisive victory over the Ethiopians. In spite of being out numbered two to one, the victory was so decisive that we are told that the Ethiopians could not recover themselves. The key to this victory was that the Lord smote the enemy. Let us remember that "we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
We see the concern.
“And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; 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.” God sent the prophet Azariah to Asa after this victory to remind him, "The LORD is with you, while ye be with him." It is easy for us to think that we attained the victory when it is always God Who attained it. We can become complacent and let our guard down. Complacency is the gateway to little faith, little prayer, little effort, and little worship. We should always guard against becoming presumptuous after a season of conquering.
We see the counsel.
“Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” Azariah gave Asa a stern word of caution and counsel that the greater enemy is the enemy within us and not the one on the outside. Judah had been a long season without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law. This word of caution came right on the heels of their victory. It was an awakening for Asa. He had to face up to dealing with the sins of the nation. Good counsel helps us to look beyond the present and see areas of our lives that we need to correct so that we have God’s favor upon us.
We see the consecration.
Asa took courage from this message. God stirred his heart to put away the abominable idolatries, renew the altar of God, and lead the people into wholehearted consecration to God. Asa took such a strong stand that he removed his mother from being queen and her idolatrous worship as well. From there, he brought back into the house of God the things his forefathers had dedicated to the worship of God. God blessed his obedience by bringing alongside of him men of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon. These people from the Northern Kingdom wanted a spiritual leader who exercised conviction against idolatry and all of its evil.
Asa hearkened to the prophet’s word and prepared himself for many years of blessing and peace. Today, be strong and let not your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. Look ahead to a successful future by putting into place the safeguards that will have God’s blessing.
Have a wisdom-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 29-31