2 Chronicles 15:3-6. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, &c.— It is very plain from the first verse, that Azariah was about to foretel something, as the spirit of God came upon him; and therefore, as Houbigant well observes, these verses should be rendered in the future. Now for a long time, Israel shall be, &c.
2 Chronicles 15:8. The prophecy of Oded— Of Azariah, the son of Oded, according to many of the ancient versions. See the first verse.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, Not so much to congratulate them on their victory, as to admonish them of the right improvement they should make of it, the prophet Azariah met the victor host returning.
1. He let them know, that the continuance of their prosperity depended upon their perseverance in well-doing. God was now evidently among them; and while they continued to seek his favour, so long they might be assured of his protection; but, if they forsook him, the consequences would be fatal. Note; None ever seek God's face in vain; while they who forsake him forsake their own mercies.
2. He exhorts the king and people, therefore, to be zealous for God; and assures them, as they had now found by experience, that their labour should meet an abundant recompence. Note; Steady perseverance is sure to win the crown of life eternal.
2nd, Encouraged by his victory, but more by the prophet's exhortation, Asa zealously renewed the work of reformation.
1. He sought out and extirpated every abomination which yet remained, or that had crept in since the beginning of his reign, or that was found in the cities of Israel which he had taken; nor spared his own grandmother, though a queen, but destroyed her image, cut down her grove, degraded her from her station, and removed her from court. Note; No greatness of station, or nearness of kin, must lead us to unjust partiality, or connivance at sin.
2. He convoked a great assembly at Jerusalem, not only of Judah and Benjamin, but of the Israelites, who had come over to him on his victory, from a conviction of the blessing of God which was upon him. This convocation was held probably at the feast of Pentecost, when Asa repaired the altar, the brass of which might have been damaged by long use, and offered numerous sacrifices of the spoil they had taken. Mercies received deserve returns of grateful praise.
3. The people assembled, solemnly renewed the dedication of themselves to God as his people, and, by the ceremony of passing through the divided calf, confirmed their covenant with the God of their fathers, engaging to seek him with all their heart and soul, in sincerity and truth, to worship him according to his institutions, and execute judgment upon all idolaters, according to his law: and, to strengthen the bond, they sware aloud, as happy in their present resolution, to be faithful, and with trumpets, cornets, and shouting for joy, celebrated the auspicious day of their return to God. Note; (1.) Solemn surrenders of ourselves to God, though binding us to nothing but what was before our duty, may be useful to affect our own minds with a sense of our obligations. (2.) That service only is pleasing to God, in which the heart is truly engaged. (3.) It were happy for us, could we always preserve that gracious frame of mind which sometimes we enjoy. (4.) The service of God, when the soul is truly engaged, brings its own comfort and reward along with it.
4. Asa now brought the dedicated treasures into the temple, which his father had laid aside for this purpose, and which he had increased. It is but justice to render unto God the things which are God's: the due return that we owe for mercies is, to present God with a part of the wealth which he bestows.
5. Peace hereupon ensued for many years; and, though some hostilities continued on the borders, (see 1 Kings 15:16.) yet in general the nation had rest from war; a present reward for their fidelity. For, though the high places still remained, (those at least which before the temple was built were used as places of sacrifice to the Lord,) yet Asa's heart was perfect all his days. Note; He who knows our simplicity, for Jesus' sake, pities and pardons our infirmities.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 15". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany