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The succession of the history is carried on in this chapter in the relation of the reign of Asa, the son of Abijah. His character and piety, and an account of his victories.
2 Chronicles 14:1
The history of a pious king amidst the relation of impious princes, is to the historian precious and refreshing, as some sweet spot of herbage and of water to the traveller amidst a barren and dry wilderness.
It should seem from the account here given that Asa, immediately on his accession to the throne, began to reform the abuses of the preceding reign of his father. Idolatry he abolished, which had crept in from the latter end of the reign of his grandfather Solomon. And what is yet more pleasant in the account here given, he set up the pure worship of the Lord God of Israel. So that this forms a very pleasing relation concerning the kingdom of Judah under the government of Asa. If the Reader compares what is related of Asa in 1 Kings 15:0 with his history as recorded in this place and the two following chapters, the narratives will mutually explain each other. Though we have but a short account in the book of the Kings concerning Asa compared to what is here told of him.
The happiest and most exemplary life is not free from assault. Nay in a spiritual sense, if any man will live godly in Christ Jesus, he shall on this very account suffer persecution. That is a precious blessing of thine, dearest Jesus, only I would be always careful to see that it is purely from an attachment to thee, and to thy cause, that the persecution comes, Matthew 5:11 .
Reader! do not fail to observe the beauties of this prayer, short as it is, for they are many. In the first place remark in it the ground of Asa's cry to God. He had served God in the day of his prosperity, and therefore now in the day of his adversity he might truly call upon him. Observe moreover, that the God he called upon was not an unknown God, but a well known and a well proved God; even God in covenant. O Lord, our God, said Asa! oh! how precious, how inconceivably precious is it, to have God in Christ in all the covenant engagements of redemption in the Lord Jesus, to fly to in time of need. Observe still further the strong faith Asa had in the power of God. It is nothing with thee (said he) to help with many or with few. Oh! for faith to every poor sinner when a sense of abounding transgression would overwhelm the soul! Thy covenant grace, almighty Father, and thy cleansing blood and justifying righteousness, thou blessed Jesus, can save from all sin! - Observe once more the humbleness of soul in Asa concerning his own strength; we rest on thee; not in our arms, nor in our strength. So saith the poor sinner made sensible of his own nothingness and depravity. His language is, I place no more dependence on my best prayers for acceptance, than on my worst sins. Neither repentance, nor faith, are the causes of my hope: But Jesus alone, his merits, his blood, his righteousness. And lastly, let not the Reader pass over as distinguishing a feature in Asa's prayer as any; thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. Intimating that the cause was the Lord's, and so would be the glory of the triumph. And is not this the case in all the great objects of redemption? All is for the honour of Jesus; that God may be glorified in him. So sung the redeemed in heaven, which John heard, who, while ascribing redemption to Jesus, proclaimed at the same time that this redemption was from God as the first cause, and reverted back to God again as the final end. Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood. Revelation 5:9 . See, Reader! what a true gospel prayer is here recorded of Asa in the book of the Chronicles.
No wonder after such a prayer; which the Lord gave grace to offer up, that an answer of mercy and favor should come down. And Reader! pray remark one or two expressions in this account. It is said that the enemy could not recover themselves before the Lord, and before his host. And that the fear of the Lord, not the fear of Asa's army, came upon them. And such, depend upon it, is and will be the consternation and terror of all the enemies of our salvation. The Lord thy God (is the sweet promise) shall drive them out before thee, and shall deliver them into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. See a precious string of promises to this amount, Deuteronomy 7:0 from beginning to end. And which if the Reader spiritualizeth with an eye to Jesus (for it is pure gospel, and may be safely so interpreted) he will find it most precious indeed!
It is hardly possible to read the character here given of Asa, and the blessed eventual consequences of his piety, as it concerned the people of Judah, without having our minds led out in delightful contemplation on the happiness of a church, and nation, and people, under the blessings of princes which set up true religion in the land, and adorn the gospel of Jesus, not only by precept, but example. The imagination can hardly calculate the extensiveness of such a blessing, in the innumerable happy consequences, which spring out of it. Who shall indeed say to what auspicious blessings, even in generations yet to come, it may reach.
And while we exercise the mind in contemplating the mercy as it is found in a land at large, under the eye of a reforming prince, like Asa; if we carry the thought into the narrower circle of churches and private families, the blessing is immense, even here, in the eventual gracious effects which must follow. Let the Reader figure to himself a church, an house, a family, all living in the faith, and love, and fear of God. They are closely allied in the strictest and most durable of all bonds, of reverence and faith in Jesus to a covenant God in Christ, and in real amity and Christian union to one another. Jesus is their glorious head, and they are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Let the enemies of their salvation, like the Ethiopians against Asa, come forth with an army of a thousand thousand, yet the battle is the Lord's, and he will eventually come forth to their deliverance. The graces of his Spirit will be their support, and confidence in the promises of redemption by Jesus their strong hold. They will be exercised indeed in resisting sin and Satan, but more is he that is with them than all that are against them. It is nothing to our God to help, whether with many or with few. They shall overcome, as the armies of heaven have done, by the blood of the Lamb, and be made more than conquerors through his grace helping them.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 14". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
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