My news feed this morning is full of battles. A military offensive to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS. Ads full of political rancor on both sides. Cultural battles for the hearts of our children. Arguments and protests and violence. The weight of consequences hangs in the air. I am grateful this morning for the message of 2 Chronicles.
Just like it's predecessor, 2 Chronicles serves as a historicial overview calling people to see what the Lord had done on behalf of Israel. It also calls them and us to review the sad results of ignoring God's warnings. However, it holds glorious promise that God is able and willing to fight and win for His people. Including you. Including me.
The book begins with the building of the beautiful temple and Solomon's magnificant reign. It then runs through the history of the generations of kings; some followed God, others ignored the prophets calls and led the people astray and eventually into captivity. The book's ending is an open invitation for faithful people to return. Always an invitation to return. Most of the stories involve battlefields. The difference between the times the battle is won or lost revolves around the people's relationship with God.
I have a confession. Sometimes when I'm reading along in a book or blog and I see a scripture, I will speed past it. My internal thought is "Oh, I know that one already. I'm so busy. I'll skip ahead to see what else the author has to say." And I read on to the words of a flawed human and skip the words of life. Today can I encourage you to take a minute. Slow down. Skip my words and focus on these words. These promises encourage me. Let them sink into your heart today. Let them call you back to the One who fights for you.
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
"Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, "Lord there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You." 2 Chronicles 14:11
"But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work." 2 Chronicles 15:7
"For the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9
"We don't know what to do but our eyes are on you." 2 Chronicles 20:12b
"and he said, 'Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat; thus says the Lord to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.'" 2 Chronicles 20:15
"For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him." 2 Chronicles 30:9
"Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles." 2 Chronicles 32:7
"Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!'" 2 Chronicles 36:23
If you are facing a battle this week the best thing to do is be still. Seek God. Pray. Ask for help. He fights for us all. He is the best at redemption, at restoration, at resurrection. When you don't know what to do, put your eyes on Him.
New Spring Chruch has some fabulous devotionals on 2nd Chronicles. I especially like the one on leadership.Check them out here. The infographic below is another great resource they provide.
This is an old Michael W. Smith song. Seems fitting this morning.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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