Finishing Well

Asa started out so well. He removed the altars of the foreign gods. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord. He removed his mother from being queen and tore down her obscene image. Then he made a treaty with Syria which began his downfall. He didn’t rely on the Lord, threw the seer into prison, and died of a severe malady. Jehoshaphat reigned in his place.

The enemy came up against Jehoshaphat and he sought the Lord. He proclaimed a fast and all of Judah sought the Lord. He prayed as Solomon had asked the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:9 says, “…we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple) and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.”

The Spirit of the Lord spoke through Jahaziel. Verse 15 says, “…Do not be afraid nor dismayed of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” Then the king implemented what God had said. The singers went out before the army. The Lord sent an ambush and the enemy was defeated.

Verse 23 says that the people of Ammon and Moab killed the inhabitants of Mount Seir and then helped to destroy one another. Verse 24 says, “…there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one escaped.”

Jehoshaphat started out great. He walked before the Lord. Then he allied himself with the king of Israel, and the Lord destroyed the ships that they had built.

Both kings started out well, but then turned away as they made ungodly alliances. It reminded me of Galatians 3:1 says, “…Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth…” Verse 3 says, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” The Amplified says, “…(by dependence) on the flesh.”

What a warning for us. When we act independent of the Lord, our downfall will begin. Sin blocks our fellowship with the Lord. Sin is doing things in our own strength, instead of relying on Him. It is rushing ahead of the Lord, and not waiting for His impeccable timing. It is not obeying the truth, but leaning on our own understanding. It is relying on others instead of the Lord.

It all starts with a disloyal heart. 2 Chronicles 16:9 was God’s message to Asa. It says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

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