And as they were returning now with all the spoils of war, the victory of God,
The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: and he went out to meet Asa, and he said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you ( 2 Chronicles 15:1-2 ).
Now the prophet meets him, Azariah meets him and lays out just a plain statement of truth, "The Lord is with you as long as you"ll be with Him; and if you seek Him, He"ll be found of you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you." This is God"s eternal truth. This is always true of every man. The Lord will be with you just as long as you"ll be with Him. And if you seek Him, you will find. But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. God"s basic truth. Unalterable, unchanging.
Now at this point, Asa is flushed with victory. He has just seen God work in a mighty way, an answer to prayer. And in those occasions, you"re on spiritual highs that you can"t believe when you"ve just seen God do a marvelous work. And I"m sure that Asa just smiled and said, "All right, praise the Lord. But you didn"t need to add that last part, man. There"s no way I"d ever forsake God. After all, look what God has just done. You don"t need to warn me about that."
Wait a minute. Beware whenever God warns you of anything no matter how strong you may feel that you are in that particular area, because God doesn"t waste words with you. And if God is warning you about a particular thing, there"s a reason why God is warning you about that. So listen, because sure enough, those are the areas where the person gets tripped up. The very area that God is warning them about.
I don"t think that any of you ever get tripped up in anything but what God hasn"t given you advance warning on that issue. But you ignored it. "I"m very strong in that area. I can handle this." And you were warned of God. "Stay away, don"t go." "Oh well, Lord, I know how to handle it. I"m, you know, and I know when to leave and... " "Don"t go!" "But Lord, You don"t understand, you see, I"m going to go and witness for You. And then I know the time to leave, Lord, and I"ll be all right." And then as you"re weeping and saying, "God, I don"t know why I did it. Lord, help me." He said, "Well, didn"t I tell you not to go? I gave you the warning. You just weren"t listening. You weren"t obeying." God doesn"t warn you needlessly.
And so the Lord gave the warning to the king. And he said,
Now for a long time Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without the law. But in their trouble they turned to Jehovah, the God of Israel, they sought him, and he was found of them. And 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. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with adversity. Be ye strong therefore, let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and he put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they came to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul ( 2 Chronicles 15:3-12 );
What a beautiful covenant. "Guys, let"s just covenant together now. We"re going to seek God with all of our heart and all of our soul." You know, that"s neat when a bunch of people get together and really covenant. "Hey, God"s going to be first in our lives. We"re going to put the Lord above everything else. We"re going to seek God with all of our hearts and with all of our souls." What a marvelous thing when people will covenant together in the excitement of a spiritual revival or fervor in this kind of a commitment. "God, I surrender everything to You. I"m Yours, Lord. I"m going to live full on for You." And you covenant with God that you"re going to seek Him completely. They also determined,
That whosoever would not seek the LORD would be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman ( 2 Chronicles 15:13 ).
Now this is a little bit overzealous. You cannot legislate righteousness. If there were laws that could make men righteous, then Jesus would not have to die. But yet, it"s admirable; their zeal for the Lord was at such a high pitch. "We"re going to serve the Lord and if anybody doesn"t follow, you know, we"ll wipe them out."
And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets, with cornets ( 2 Chronicles 15:14 ).
I mean, this was just a real fanatical spiritual meeting. Shouting, praising God, sounding with trumpets. "God, we"re going to serve You. God, we"re going to commit ourselves. Lord, You"re going to be the God over our land. We"re going to put You first." And really, it was the time of great national strength and excitement.
I would like to have been there. I would like to have shared in the excitement of that moment when the hearts of the people were all turned towards God in this religious excitement.
And all of Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with their heart, and they sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about. And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being the queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was complete. And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa ( 2 Chronicles 15:15-19 ) "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 15". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany