Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Chronological reading Plan for June 24, 1 Kings 15, 2 Chron 13-16.

Today's readings are 1 Kings 15, 2 Chron 13-16. Tomorrow's are 1 Kings 16, 2 Chron 17. 

In 1 Kings 15, Abijam's (sometimes known as "Abijah") reign typifies the constant tension between Judah's propensity to fall into idolatry and God's faithfulness to His people. Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Judah escalate. 

Asa reigns after Abijam. He is a godly man who initiates reform in godly worship and does much to set Judah on the right path.  But he fails to tear down the "high places", the sites for pagan idol worship. His heart is for God. His commitment to holiness is enviable but not total.  This is probably evidence of the culture he lives in. Nonetheless, it will prove to be a problem for those that follow. The Scriptures compare Asa favorably to David. 

King Baasha of Israel fights an ongoing war with Judah. He builds Ramah, which lies on the Central Benjamin Plateau north of Jerusalem. Ramah guards the only easy-to-navigate roadway to Jerusalem. If Baasha controls Ramah, he can nearly control Jerusalem. 

To counter, Asa forms an alliance with the kingdom of Aram and Baasha abandons his plans for Ramah. 




2 Chron looks at Abijah a bit more charitably but  still exposes his weaknesses. 2 Chron 16 reveals that Asa's decision to ally himself with Aram's King Baasha was not only later in his career but misguided. 

Asa, like Solomon before him and many that will follow, should depend on God to protect and provide for His children, not worldly alliances. 

Asa's error is further exacerbated when he contracts a disease and relies on physicians instead of the Lord. This is not an indictment against medical care. God provides us with doctors and medicines for His glory. Asa's struggle was in not trusting God first and foremost. Going to a doctor is not an ungodly thing to do. Thinking the doctor can do something that God cannot is a grievous error. 

One of the lessons we can learn from these first kings of Judah is that we should always be on guard about where we place out trust and who or what we depend upon. God is our provider, protector and preservation. When our situations get tense, it's easy to turn away from God and look to those around us...or even ourselves...to get us out of trouble. Placing God in a lower priority in our lives can be the start of a slippery slide.  

1 comment:

  1. These chapters were so full of great reminders about trusting God fully. Oh, how I want to walk by faith, and how I see the places in my life that I have not totally given up to God. Lord, help me in my weakness.

    In some ways it's an encouragement to see the struggles of others. Not that it's satisfying to see someone else struggle, but it's encouraging to know that we're not in this game alone. And to see how God walked with them through the struggle, and how they came out on the other side gives hope. The common struggles (sins) solidify the truth of God's word. There's nothing new under the sun.

    Praise God, our redeemer and friend.

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