2 Chronicles 14: 2 [b] And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. 5 He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace. 7 And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8 And Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor.9 Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10 And Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” 12 So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army.
Chapter 15 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, 4 but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. 5 In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. 7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” 8 As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord.[d] 9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 They sacrificed to the Lord on that day from the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. 12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, 13 but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.16 Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.
God makes the message so clear, just like he does today. “The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” Asa did not have peace because he was a great ruler on his own merit but because he sought God and his will. He gave all the things that were rightly God’s to him, and dismissed those things that were not. The men had taken great plunder when they won the battle. So when the third month rolled around (which would be feast of Pentecost) they sacrificed elaborately to the Lord seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. They could have kept those animals but by sacrificing them, they were recognizing God had delivered them from the Ethiopians. Not only did they make great sacrifices but took a national oath, “12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, 13 but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.” Asa recognizes it is only God’s judgment that matters. He recognizes the clear message that life is not about what he wants, but God's commandments. Better yet, he is taking godly responsibility for the people he leads. The lives of Asa's people are literally in his hands based on the decisions he makes.
Fast forward to 2015. If you think the United States has enjoyed freedom on our own merit, think again. Our forefathers established this country on God and honored him. Little by little we have squeezed him out, and now are doing so with a speedy progression. I have been amazed at what I have seen and heard in just one week. Oh how dangerously we live when we openly and willfully defy the commands of God in any capacity. The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” I am afraid we are rapidly moving toward a time when God with lift his hand of protection from us all together. As I was talking to a group of friends about what is to come, I am encouraged by what the Lord said to Asa. “7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” I encourage you today do not let your beliefs be fickle, but take courage in God and in the things that are right. Let us say as Christians “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” God does not make things complicated--Keep my commandments, recognize me before others, and I will recognize you before my Father.
Christian friends the time is at hand where your beliefs matter. Now is the time to make sure you know what you believe, why you believe it, and how you can stand firm on those beliefs. And now more than ever your life has to be a living testimony to what you say you believe.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:15