For the Kingdom
Read: 2 Chronicles 14:1-12
1Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David. His son Asa became king in his place. During his reign the land experienced peace for ten years. 2 Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the pagan altars and the high places. He shattered their sacred pillars and chopped down their Asherah poles. 4 He told the people of Judah to seek the Lord God of their ancestors and to carry out the instruction and the commands. 5 He also removed the high places and the shrines[a] from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom experienced peace under him. 6 Because the land experienced peace, Asa built fortified cities in Judah. No one made war with him in those days because the Lord gave him rest. 7 So he said to the people of Judah, “Let’s build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, with doors and bars. The land is still ours because we sought the Lord our God. We sought him and he gave us rest on every side.” So they built and succeeded. 8 Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah bearing large shields and spears, and two hundred eighty thousand from Benjamin bearing regular shields and drawing the bow. All these were valiant warriors. 9 Then Zerah the Cushite came against them with an army of one million men and three hundred[b] chariots. They came as far as Mareshah. 10 So Asa marched out against him and lined up in battle formation in Zephathah Valley at Mareshah. 11 Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, “Lord, there is no one besides you to help the mighty and those without strength. Help us, Lord our God, for we depend on you, and in your name we have come against this large army. Lord, you are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder you.” 12 So the Lord routed the Cushites before Asa and before Judah, and the Cushites fled.
- Asa started out strong as the king of Israel. The Scripture said that he did what was right in God’s eyes. What were some of the things he did that were pleasing to God?
- Asa was actively was seeking after God. What are some things we can do to actively seek out God’s will for our lives?
- Asa cried out to God when the million-man Cushite army invaded. When is a time in your life when you felt the odds were stacked against you but God came through?
- Asa received a word of encouragement and warning from Azariah in chapter 15. What were the dual promises that God gave to Asa through Azariah?
- After the Cushite invasion, God gave Asa and Judah peace for 20 years. Then, when there was another war on the horizon, Asa turned to pagans for help (see 16:1-2). Why do you think Asa did this?
- Are there times in your own relationship with God when you get complacent? What leads to complacency in our walk with God?
- At first, it seems like Asa’s plan works. Have you ever done things in your own strength and felt temporarily successful, but then you encountered issues long-term? Can you think of any examples in your own lives or the lives of other believers?
- How does Asa react differently to Hanani in chapter 16 compared to Azariah in chapter 15?
- The first sentence of 2 Chronicles 16:9 should be encouraging. Why is that verse both an encouraging verse but also a challenging verse?
- The bad news is that we, like Asa, are mortally wounded because of our sin. What should our response be to that mortal wound?
- At the conclusion of the service this morning, we responded in worship through communion. How does communion remind us of both our mortality and Christ’s sufficiency?
- How does the gospel help us finish strong, unlike Asa?