Wednesday, August 17, 2011

35 years going strong, and then...

"Hear me, Asa, and all Judah & Benjamin: The LORD is with you, while you are with him.  If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you." 
(2 Chronicles 15:2b)

He had so much going for him.  Asa was his name, and he was the King of Judah.  Early in his reign, the prophet Azariah had inspired him to righteousness.  Asa, in turn, inspired the southern nation of Judah to seek God with their whole desire (2 Chron. 15:15).  He even rebuked his mom when she erected an idol for Asherah.  "And there was no more war until the 35th year of Asa" (v.9).

All was going smoothly, until... the first serious threat of war (at least that we know of).  Judah's brothers to the north, Israel, under the leadership of king Baasha, began preparing to attack King Asa & the people of Judah.  Asa, in turn, bribed Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, to break his alliance with the northern tribes, and join in protecting the southern tribes of Judah.  It worked.  Sort of.  Israel left & the war ended.  But God was not happy that Asa never considered going to him in prayer with this situation.  From that point on, Asa (& Judah) were beset by wars (2 Chron. 16:9).

We like to plan, devise, scheme, and prepare.  Especially those of us in positions of leadership, we have to be ready.  But God wants to be at the top of those lists!  Too often, however, we forget to turn to Him first.  WE get caught up in OUR PLANS and miss the most important step - putting God first.  That's when things can start going downhill.  Just ask our friend Asa.

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