Summary: This sermon looks at Asa’s miracle, and warns us to beware of starting strong and finishing weak.
I have used sermoncentral along with other resources in preparing this message.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR STRENGTH?
AUGUST 19, 2007 Jay Robison 2 CHRONICLES 14:11-13,
16:2-3, and 7-10
Have you ever wanted to just stay in bed?
Sunday a.m. alarm rang, sleepy eyed man hit snooze
Third time he did so, wife said honey time to get up for church
I don’t want to go to church. You have to go.
What do you mean, I don’t like them and they don’t like me
I’ll give you 2 reasons have to go, I’m going and you’re the pastor
Some days you just don’t want to get out of bed
Life can be overwhelming sorrow and suffering, sadly there are
People who are at each other’s throats, personal life can be rough
Where do you get your strength to live?
Carl Lundquist, former president of Bethel Mn. College & Seminary.
1988, doctors told him had a rare cancer called mycosis fungoides,
which invaded the skin over his entire body 3 yrs later killed him.
He wrote day after diagnosis: I picked up my Bible when Dr left.
I turned to joy verses of Philippians, thinking one might stand out. What leapt from pages was Phil 1:20-21 I eagerly expect & hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ & to die is gain.
Discovered a vs I had lived by in good health also vs I could live by
in bad health. But by life or by death, it’s all right either way ...
So I simply trust that [God] in His own way will carry out for me His will which I know alone is good acceptable & perfect.
By life or by death. Hallelujah!
How can we find such strength to live?
Obscure character in Chronicles stories of kings
When Asa became king, Israel divided into 2 nations
Israel, which was 10 of the tribes and smaller Judah
Asa over Judah
1. God’s MIRACLE for Asa
Soon as Asa became king instituted many reforms in Judah
He listened to what God was saying. It emboldened him.
Asa had a good start. Asa began to clean up Ch 14
HE TORE DOWN ALTARS TO OTHER GODS
Judah was worshipping other Gods
SMASHED IDOL STONES,
TORE AWAY ASHERAH POLES
Similar to totem poles as worship to idols
TURNED THE PEOPLE’S HEART TO GOD
Asa said this is the real God worship him
10 years into his rule after reforms in place Sudanese King Zerah
king brought a vast army toward Judah. Some say a million in army Asa’s army was half that size On top of #s problem, Zerah’s army
had best war technology War Chariots, which provided shielding
and mobility for archers troops arrived at front fresh and rested.
Severe test of Asa’s leadership
Look what Asa did had army lot of worldly resources at his disposal.
Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing
for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let people prevail against you!” 14:11 NKJV
Asa was on his face before God saying armies not the decisive thing
in battles but only the Lord. Asa says “We’re not trusting, in our
army [our resources] but in you Lord.”
Asa’s prayer indicated in terrible situation of his life, but also his
willingness to hope and trust in God’s resources for the outcome. Think of it in terms of going to Dr. Going to the Dr. for medical
problem is not wrong. Armies are not necessarily wrong.
But banking all your hope & trust in the doctor (or the army) and
not praying the way Asa prayed here is foolishness.
And did Asa pray! He humbled himself and hoped in God
A fresh turning to God’s heart in prayer admits human helplessness
Asa recognized that whether have a lot or a little depend on God
14:12 So the Lord struck the Sudanese before Asa and Judah
And they fled, chased them for miles. Zerah’s army finally
broken up scattered in fear overpowered by Lord
Great victory for God and the people, gathered plunder
If you have followed God long and prayed
Seen similar miracles in your life, kids, home,
2. Watch out for STARTING STRONG BUT FINISHING WEAK
25 years later ch 16 Asa and Judah threatened again
This time Israel is advancing on Judah great army threatening
Similar situation to what he faced before