He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you – 2Chr. 15:2 NIV
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The Devotional today is an attempt to take another look at how Christians can allow the Almighty God lead their battles. It is not simply the case of all those vigils, fasting and endless babbling called prayers, but a simple case of remaining faithful to the one they claim to serve. The Almighty God remains faithful to all His promises, when we are faithful to our worship of Him exclusively. Drifting away from his laws and ordinances will only make Him move away from us. He is also too smart to be conned by the human being, who pretends to be faithful when at best, what they have, is shared love for Jehovah and other small gods, because He is able to see through the thoughts of men – 1Sam. 16:7.
King Abijah, is expected to have taken some lessons from the experience of his father’s unfaithfulness, and the subsequent repercussion of such an act (2Chr. 12:1-6), as he led the people of Judah to remain faithful to the Lord , at least until that stage of his reign. The Almighty God also did not disappoint him as He ensured that he won every battle against even obviously more powerful enemies, and peace reigned during his time – 2Chr. 13:10-21. He was also successful in training his son, Asa, who succeeded him as king, to see the importance of being faithful to Jehovah, as he too did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord – 2Chr. 14:2. In order to entrench faithfulness to Jehovah amongst his people,
- He removed foreign altars and high places – 2Chr. 14:3. This was to ensure that the people are not enticed in anyway to worship any other god aside from Jehovah.
- He commanded Judah to seek Jehovah and obey his laws – 2Chr. 14:4. It was not a case of them having a choice, but him giving instructions on whom he wanted his people to worship and probably punishing anyone who acts contrary.
The result of this conscious effort to keep himself and his people faithful to the Lord, with the removal of all the High places and incense altars in every town of Judah, was peace that came to his kingdom, something which further engendered growth and progress – 2Chr. 14:5-7. He also was able to defeat enemies and armies much more powerful than Judah, one of which was Zerah the Cushite who had, with three hundred chariots, marched against the three hundred and fifty man army of Asa and Judah but was struck down by the Lord – 2Chr. 14:8-10; 12. Asa was able to leverage on his relationship with Jehovah, which was founded on the faithfulness of himself and his people, and got rewarded with divine support and victory over enemies.
In presenting his supplication to the Lord , asking for His support, he affirmed the following points;
- He confirmed and acknowledged that there was no one like Jehovah who is able to provide help to the powerless, against the mighty – 2Chr. 14:11a.
- He pleaded with Him to come into their situation, as He only, it was, that they relied upon for help – 2Chr. 14:11b. They had no alternative plan to implement in such situations.
- In pleading with Him to ensure that no one prevail over them, he let Him know that they were moving in His name and so were dependent on His supernatural support. By that, He was making Him aware that Israel was battling Him and not Judah or himself.
A victory of unimaginable proportion was achieved on that occasion by Asa and Judah, and Azariah under the influence of the Spirit of God, did not delay in reminding him of the source of his victory, and how he was going to sustain such victories in the future. He let him know in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional that the Almighty God will remain with him and Judah, only for as long as they remain with Him, and that is the only time they will find Him, if they seek Him, but He will equally forsake them, if they choose to forsake Him. He informed them of the insecurity and great turmoil that confronted the people of Israel, with them being crushed by several nations, because God Himself was troubling them with every kind of distress. This was due to the absence of Priests in their midst to teach them the requirements of the law of God and which left them without the true God – 2Chr. 15:1-7. All they needed to do was to continue to be strong and not give up being faithful to the Lord and they will surely be rewarded.
This advise of Azariah, given to Asa and Judah remain valid till today, for the Christian that wishes to have Jehovah take charge of his/her battles. Such should remember always that Jehovah rewards faithfulness to Him, by being available when He is called upon. Worthy of note is the fact that even the faithful Christian still needs to call on Him, requesting for His intervention, but no matter how much the unfaithful one calls on Him, He will simply not hear such calls – Matt. 7:7. Asa and the people of Judah, like Rehoboam and Abijah, his fore-fathers did, took a decision to remain with the Lord in times of peace and the Lord compensated their loyalty by granting them victory in times of war. You also need to remain faithful to Him at all times, in and out of season, as faithfulness expressed in difficult situations may prove insufficient. That is the only time you are assured of His support when you call in times of distress. May God grant us all the Spirit to remain faithful to Him throughout our lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.