SEEK, REST, AND TRIUMPH
2 Chronicles 14:1-15
INTRODUCTION: During the reigns of Rehoboam and Abijah, the true worship of God in Judah declined. Idolatry increased. Whenever the true worship of God decreases, other things come to fill that vaccum. During that time various places for idol worship were erected.
1 Kings 14:21-24 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
1 Kings 15:3 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.
When Asa became king, he set out to purge his kingdom of the things that had replaced the worship of the true God. He urged (not commanded) Judah to seek God. Even God doesn’t force us to worship for worship must come from a heart that desires intimacy with God.
I. SEEK THE LORD (v. 4)
1. Seeking God must be very important because the writer of Chronicles uses the term “to seek (the Lord)” 29 times! To seek the Lord means to desire and earnestly pursue God’s presence, fellowship, kingdom, and holiness.
2. It is essential that we seek after God if we are to ever receive from Him.
Deut. 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
3. God must be sought for strength and continually.
1 Chron. 16:10-11 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
3. We must seek God if we expect His presence to be manifest in our lives.
1 Chron. 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.
4. Seeking God is one of the keys to revival.
2 Chron. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
5. As we see in the life of Rehoboam, it is a sin and evil to not seek the Lord. He got his rule as king off to a bad start—he strengthened himself. He didn’t think he needed God.
2 Chron. 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
II. REST IN THE LORD
1. Asa removed anything that would hinder the presence of God (v. 5).
2. God gave Judah rest during the years that they sought Him. During that time he fenced in the cities (v. 6).
3. They then built walls, towers, gates, and bars around the cities.
4. They built and prospered and had rest because they sought the Lord (v. 7).
5. Are you weary? Do you need rest from the struggles of life? Jesus says, “come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” SEEK HIM!
III. TRIUMPH IN THE LORD
1. Asa’s resources are told of in verse 8. He had an army of 580,000 men of valor.
2. That seemed insignificant compared to the enemy’s 1,000,000 (v. 9)!
3. Asa didn’t shrink back or run. He went out against Zerah (means rising) (v. 10).
4. They met on the battlefield in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah (v. 10).
5. Zephathah means watch tower in Hebrew. Mareshah means principality in Hebrew. They met in the valley of the watchtower at principality!
Ephes. 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying (SEEKING GOD through prayer) always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
6. Praying—seeking God—that’s what Asa did (v. 11). He went out in battle array (v. 10), but realized that it wasn’t carnal weapons that would defeat the enemy.
7. Asa knew that little is much if God is in it. HE CRIED unto the Lord. The odds mande no difference if God would be with him
2 Chron. 14:11 And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
8. Asa triumphed in the Lord (vv. 12-15).
9. Notice in verse 12 that is the Lord, NOT Asa that smote the Ethiopians.
10. Asa chased the enemy (v. 13). I like that! Our enemies—sickness, disease, temptation, the devil. must flee before the saint of God who seeks the Lord.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
11. The Ethiopians could not recover, the victory was so complete (vv. 13-15)! Song—I Went To The Enemy’s Camp And I Took Back What He Stole From Me. ILLUSTRATE: Jesus’ total victory over Satan on the cross. IT IS FINISHED!
CONCLUSION: You can seek the Lord. Rest in God. Triumph in the Lord.