Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 14:11-16:14
2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14 Prescription For Revival
Here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:
1 Kings 15:7-12 2 Chron. 14:1-5
1 Kings 15:13-24 2 Chron. 15:16-19; 16:1-14
2 Chronicles 14:6-15 and 15:1-15 are unique.
I’ve written on Asa already here:
Asa was one of the five best kings of Judah but as was we’ll see, he still has a flaw.
McGee points out three traits of revival from Asa’s reign.
1) He brought the nation back to the Word (2 Chron. 15:2).
Verse 2 of chapter 15 says, “And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you’ (cf. “You will seek Me and find [Me] when you search for Me with all your heart” Jer.29:13). Then it says in verse 3, “For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law.” They were without God because they were without teaching from the Word! Are we like that today?
Here are the words of J. Vernon McGee from over thirty years ago:
“The tragedy of the hour in our day is that there is not enough Bible teaching in the church. I say this very kindly, but we do not need more preachers. You can buy them like bananas, by the dozen. Bible teachers are few and far between; yet they are needed.”
Wonder why our nation is in a mess? McGee in his commentary on v. 2 Chron. 15:5-7 says this, again over thirty years ago:
” . . . I am wondering if the root of our national problems is not the same. We have all those smart boys in Washington, and they make stupid decisions. How can such smart boys make such stupid decisions? Wh is it that we cannot have law and order? Why is it that we can’t really have peace? Why is there such lawlessness today? Let me venture my opinion on the basis of the Word of God. It is because God has been left out. He is not in the government cycles in Washington. They think they don’t ned God because they have the smart boys. My friend, in the hours in which we are living, our nation needs God!”
2) The second key for revival is separation based on verse 16, “He also removed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from the position of queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah, and Asa cut down her horrid image, crushed it and burned it at the brook Kidron.”
This king got rid of his own mother! Jesus said that his followers might be divided against their own relatives (Luke 12:53) and even had to “hate” them (Luke 14:26). (By “hate” He actually meant favor God over them. He was speaking “comparatively.”) This man took things seriously.
There is a “separationalist” movement in evangelical circles today. IMHO, they are hurting the spread of the gospel. Some make up their own rules and make them the standard of living for a Christian (which is usually what their own tastes are in things). Since when is Country Gospel the only music a Christian can listen to? Rock music is a sin but gorging at Country Buffet is righteous? How does that work? Let’s get real and quit ruining our witness with outsiders and unbelievers who can see through this tomfoolery.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is still in the Bible and we should submit to the commands there. But this speaks of separation from idolatry. If rock music is idolatry then you shouldn’t listen to it. If you think hair over the ears is wrong, get yours cut. Don’t be self-righteous (Eccles. 7:16). It ruins our witness. As Dr. Norman Geisler says about Bible Study, “the main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things.” We should not be majoring on minors.
So what is separation? How about separate in character? We need Christians with character and Christians who know the Word! Separation is separation from the world system (1 John 2:15-16). That would be a rebellion. Not wearing slacks or cut-offs will have nothing to do with it!
3) The third key to revival is an area where Asa failed. It is faith. Hanani, the prophet, came to Asa and told him that God was looking for a few good men but he wasn’t qualifying. Asa had already destroyed the Ethiopian army (2 Chron. 14:9-15) but later made a bad alliance with Ben-hadad king of Aram because he was being threatened by the king of the northern kingdom, Baasha. The prophets received a prophet’s reward, he was imprisoned by Asa (2 Chron. 16:10). Asa dudded out. He didn’t have faith and without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).
So Asa incurred a fatal disease (2 Chron. 16:12). He only consulted the MDs of the time. He did not consult God. Don’t misunderstand this verse. It doesn’t mean he should have gone to a faith healer. In fact, this verse does not affirm faith-healers at all. It meant he only took the natural route. When I had six heart by-passes, my whole church was praying for me. And I’m glad they were!
So . . . a return to the Word of God, separation from the world system, and faith in God lead to revival. Will we ever see it again on the earth?
New Testament: Romans 9:1-24
Romans 9:1-24 Oh, Mercy!
As we saw in the book of Acts, the gospel started with the Jews. It then proceeded out to the Samaritans and then to the Gentiles. Good thing or most of us who are believers would not know Christ!
Who is most responsible for the Gentiles knowing Christ? Strangely, it was the biggest persecutor of the Jewish Christians. You’d think after his conversion he would major on converting the Jews. But God made him “the apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13) so that was his goal in life, to reach Gentiles. (Some think I should witness primarily to Roman Catholics since I used to be one but I don’t. I don’t exclude them either.)
Though Paul was the “apostle to the Gentiles,” he still had a very special place in his heart for the Jews. In fact, in verse 3, he says he would give up his own eternal life for them if they would come to Christ.
Chapters 1-8 were systematic explanations of Christian theology. Chapters 9-11 explain how the Gentiles were “grafted” in to the church which has been simply Jewish converts until Cornelius and his family were converted in Acts 10. Then the rest of the book, chapters 12-16, deal with the practical side of the Christian life. The epistles usually begin with doctrine and end with practical exhortations.
Paul traces the history of the Jews from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob. He makes the point that God has chosen Abraham’s line through Jacob and the patriarchs but they were not chosen by anything they had done. They were chosen through God’s mercy (v. 18).
Paul anticipates that someone will not like God’s plan. He answers by saying, “If God wants things that way, who are we to question it?” He explains that God is the Creator and has the rights over His creation (v. 20-21). He implies that all creatures deserve God’s wrath (v. 22) but that God has decided to show mercy to both Jews and Gentiles.
Psalm 19:1-14 Oh, Heavens! A Psalm Of Praise By David
Proverbs 20:1 The End Of The Road
Have you noticed that the “world system” tells us that drinking, smoking, and elicit relationships are the best for us? By “world system,” I mean, is the authorities, rulers, forces of darkness, powers, and wickedness in heavenly regions (cf. Eph. 6:12). I don’t mean the powers behind the governments or large companies. I mean there are invisible powers that are behind large governments and big businesses.
There are demons that are manipulating our minds through the media. Otherwise, why would you want to imbibe “spirits”?
Alcohol manipulates young people. They end up on the side of the road.
Older people can end up on the road, too. Even high school principals.
Choose Life: Scripture: Romans 9:15 NASB “Whom-Ev-Er!”
“For He says to Moses, ‘I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.'” Romans 9:15
Kids have an expression these days, “What ev-er!” You have to say it just right with the accent on the last syllable and drawing out the second syllable. It usually means something like, “who cares? Man are you dumb!” Of course, it has much more aplomb than just saying “who cares, you are a dummy.”
God usually doesn’t say anything like “what ev-er.” However, He does say, “Whom ev-er.” He says that anyone that wants to be saved, can be saved. He wants everyone to love Him. That is the theme of the Bible. He “draws all men” to Himself” (John 12:32, italics are mine). He is “not willing that any should perish” (cf. 2 Pet. 3:9, italics are mine).
God is wanting a love relationship with everyone that He created. That is the theme of the Bible.
Don’t ever say He only chose a “select” few. That is heresy. The Jews thought they were the only chosen ones. Paul corrects that idea in Romans 9. He will have mercy on “whom ev-er” He will.
Are you spreading the gospel to “whom ev-er?”
If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
In our Old Testament reading today, we come across Asa. 2 Chron. 14:2 says that he was a good king. He removed the obstacles to people coming to God. He took down the places of idolatry. God spoke to Asa (through a prophet), “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (cf. 2 Chron. 15:2). The prophet was saying that anyone who seeks God will find Him (cf. Jer. 29:13).
Unfortunately, though he began well, Asa didn’t finish up too good. His feet rotted from beneath him and he died. I think that is a metaphor for Asa spiritually. He got rid of the rotten places of worship but he entered into an alliance with a pagan king (cf. 2 Chr. 16:2-3). Though he won the earthly battle in cooperation with that king, he lost the spiritual war (Chr. 16:4-5). Asa had trusted in man instead of God and God was not pleased with him (cf. 2 Chron. 16:7).
Of course, as usual, with anyone who is fleshly, Asa took it out on the messenger and threw him in prison (cf. 2 Chron. 16:10). But then Asa’s feet rotted from underneath him (2 Chron. 16:12). I think that was symbolic of his lack of trust in the Word of God (cf. Eph. 6:15, ” . . . with your feet fitted with the gospel of peace as a firm footing” (original NIV translation, see also blog Land, Ho!). His heart had gone bad but his foundation, the Word of God, which had inspired a great revival during his reign, went out from under him.
How is your heart health?
Do your feet hurt?
The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Prescription For Revival