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LIFE ISSUES

Now we are introduced to Azariah, one on whom the Spirit of the Lord came and let's pay particular attention to the Word of the Lord that he delivered following the mighty victory they had witnessed.

"Listen to me, Asa!" he shouted. "Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.  For a long time, Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach them, and without God's law.  But whenever you were in distress and turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him out, you found him.  During those dark times, it was not safe to travel. Problems troubled the nation on every hand.  Nation fought against nation, and city against city, for God was troubling you with every kind of problem. 7 And now, you men of Judah, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded." (2 Chron 15:2-7 NLT)

Somewhat surprisingly, the message through Azariah was not all congratulations with streamers and balloons and marching bands!

I think Azariah knew that times of victory were times of vulnerability; dangerous times when the sweet taste of success could cloud one's judgment and distort reality. This, in turn, could leave the way open for some kind of counter attack which could reverse a victory into a defeat.

I'm thinking at the moment of King David (2 Samuel 11) and what happened when he excused himself from the battle. While others went to face the enemy, David remained behind in Jerusalem. The whole sorry saga of David and Bathsheba continues to be the launching pad for books and movies etc.

So Azariah, at the risk of being a 'party-pooper', reminded Asa that the decision to seek the Lord with all his heart was a daily decision, not a decision made back in history somewhere.

Although victory was theirs and the immediate threat from external forces had, for now, been thwarted, Asa now begins to address some of the internal issues; issues that, left unchecked, could begin to undermine the position that had been granted to them by the Lord.

 

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