“For the Levites left their pasture lands and their
property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for
Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from
serving as priests to the LORD. He set up priests
of his own for the high places, for the satyrs and
for the calves which he had made.
“Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers. They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.”
2 Chronicles 11:14–17
Tuesday’s Bible reading is 2 Chronicles 11–15. Chapters 11 and 12 record the rest of Rehoboam’s reign, describing his obedience to God and his later rebellion and repentance.
In chapter 13 only one event in the reign of Rehoboam’s son, Abijah, is mentioned, a battle in which, outnumbered two to one by Jeroboam’s warriors, Judah cries out to God for deliverance and He answers them with victory.
The final two chapters are about Asa, Abijah’s son, his many reforms and once again, the deliverance of God when Judah is vastly outnumbered—this time by the Ethiopians.
Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded, and 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. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
“For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. But in their distress they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”
2 Chronicles 15:1–7
I think one of the most sobering lessons to learn from the history of Judah and her kings is that a king can be faithful at one point in his life, but later fall into sin. There is vacillation between turning to and turning from God. Danger and humility precipitate calling upon the Lord, but once at rest there is subsequent forgetfulness of God, pride and rebellion.
Our lives are not static, and we are in a marathon, not a sprint. Paul wrote to the Galatians:
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
In writing on Galatians 6:9, the Puritan Thomas Watson wrote:
“The crown is not given to him who fights—but to him who overcomes.…”
“If we would not grow weary, let us pray for persevering grace. It was David’s prayer, Psalm 119:117, “Hold me up—and I shall be safe.” It was Beza’s prayer, “Lord, perfect what You have begun in me.” That we may hold on a Christian course, let us labor for three persevering graces: faith, hope, and love.
“Faith keeps from fainting. Faith gives a substance to things not seen, and makes them to be as it were present, Hebrews 11. As a telescope makes those things which are at a distance near to the eye, so does faith. Heaven and glory seem near. A Christian will not be weary of service—who has the crown in his eye.
“The second persevering grace is hope. Hope animates the spirits; it is to the soul as cork to the net—which keeps it from sinking. Hope breeds patience and patience breeds perseverance. Hope is compared to an anchor, Hebrew 6:19. The Christian never sins, but when he casts away his anchor of hope!
The third persevering grace is love. Love makes a man so that he is never weary. Love may be compared to the rod of myrtle in the traveler’s hand, which refreshes him and keeps him from being weary in his journey. He who loves the world is never weary of following the world; he who loves God will never be weary of serving Him. The reason why saints and angels in heaven are never weary of praising and worshiping God, is because their love to God is perfect, and love turns service into delight. Get the love of God in your hearts—and you will run in His ways and not be weary!”1
May the Lord grant us His persevering grace, and may He find us faithful to the end.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1Thomas Watson, Let Us Not Grow Weary, Grace Gems! I recommend this very brief and very edifying writing.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter