Summary: How to get back on track with God when you’ve jumped the track.
Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures
Golf analogy – correcting a swing flaw. Big changes often are needed and they feel weird at first. You must continue them until they become a habit. Then it becomes natural.
2 Chron 15:1-15
15:1 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple.
9 Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
10 They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the LORD seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder they had brought back. 12 They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. 13 All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.
The southern kingdoms of Judah and Benjamin had long been following after false gods and ignoring their relationship with the one true God (v. 3). We find in verse 4 that in their distress however, they turned to the Lord. Times were desperate for them (v. 5 & 6). And in these desperate times, desperate measures were needed to right the ship.
For some of us, there may be times that our Christian walk, like a golf swing gets a little out of whack. Maybe a lot out of whack. When that happens we need to make changes and perhaps even take desperate measures to get the relationship back on track. What we have here in this story of Asa is the desperate measures they took to get back on track with God.
There are several things that Asa and the Southern Kingdoms of Judah & Benjamin do to restore a proper relationship w/ God.
1. They removed the idols (v. 8)
a. this represents the temptations we are associating ourselves with.
2. They repaired the altar (v. 8)
a. We need to get back to a steady prayer life and dependence on God.
3. They assembled together (v. 10)
a. A consistent church life is important
4. They offered sacrifices (v. 11)
a. Rom. 12:1 – Service for the Lord keeps us busy with God’s work and off of temptations doorstep.
5. Re-establish the covenant with the Lord. (v. 12)
a. go back to that point where you committed your life to God and remember that first work of God’s grace in your life.
6. Abolish compromise with sin (v. 13)
7. Re-commit and seek God eagerly (v. 14 & 15)
a. it needs to be a discipline. 28 days to form a habit.
b. When you seek God, He will be found!
Conclusion: As a result, the kingdom was given rest on every side. Our desire is that our relationship with God is so tight that we have that kind of rest.
How’s your relationship with God lately? If it’s off track, then the story of Asa could help you get it back to where it needs to be.