2 Chronicles 13-17
What does it say?
Abijah succeeded Rehoboam as king over Judah. His reign was for three years. Abijah took the forces of Judah and Benjamin up against Jeroboam and the northern tribes of Israel. Jeroboam had caused Israel to sin by making two golden calves, drove out the priests of the Lord and made priests of whoever comes to consecrate himself. Abijah’s forces were 400,000 and Jeroboam’s were 800,000. Abijab called on the name of the Lord and God gave Jeroboam into his hand and 500,000 of Israel fell. After this, Jeroboam slept with his fathers and his son, Asa became king of Judah and Benjamin. Asa removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God and observe the law and the commandment. By invoking the name of the Lord, Asa defeated the Ethiopians who came up against Judah and Benjamin. Asa’s reforms where a result of Azariah’s warning that the Lord is with you when you are with him. He told him that God will allow whoever seeks him to find him; but warns that if you forsake him, God will forsake you. For this reason Asa made the reforms that he did. However, this did not last, because when Baasha king of Israel came up against him, Asa trusted in the king of Aram whom he paid from the Lord’s treasury. Asa was rebuked through the prophet Hanani whom Asa put in prison for the rebuke. Asa became diseased in his feet and did not seek the Lord. He died after reigning for forty one years and Jehoshaphat became king in Judah. Jehoshaphat sought the Lord, so the Lord established his kingdom. He also sent priests throughout the land to teach the book of the law.
What does it mean?
Though the happenings and text are lengthy, the meaning is brief. Trust in the Lord and not in the flesh; whether that be ones own flesh or the flesh of another man. Abijah sought the Lord, therefore he gave him victory over Jeroboam. When Asa sought the Lord and observed the law and commandment, he gave him victory over the Ethiopians; but when he forsook the Lord and trusted in the flesh, he became diseased in his feet. Jehoshaphat’s reign was good, not because Jehoshaphat was good but because he sought the Lord, he took pride in the ways of the Lord and demonstrated this through his acts of taking away the high places and the Asherim from Judah. He also sent men to teach the people the book of the law of the Lord. God is with those who seek him and observe all that he commands, but he opposes those who forsake him.
What shall I do?
I shall trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and observe all that he commanded. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. Jesus said:
For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. (Jn. 6:40, NASB)
Sin and death is the great enemy of man. Jesus Christ has promised to return and raise those who believe in him from the dead and grant us eternal life in the new heaven and the new earth in the presence of God. Jesus commissioned the church to make disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father and Son and Holy spirit, and teach them to observe all that he commanded. Therefore, I shall trust in him and do what he has commanded.