When Asa became king of Judah, he did what was good and right by removing from the land the altars to the foreign gods and the high places, and by breaking down the sacred pillars and cutting down the wooden images. Because of this, the people experienced a ten year stretch of peace granted to them by God.
So what did King Asa do during this peaceful time? We might think he would just allow himself and the people to rejoice in their nice, quiet neighborhoods. To the contrary, Asa decreed, “… ‘Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.’ So they built and prospered.” Second Chronicles 14:7 (NKJ).
Good and bad times come in cycles. If we are going through rough seas, hold on, smooth water is coming. If we are on smooth seas, hold on, rough water is coming. That’s just the way life is. It is during times of peace that, like King Asa knew, we ought to fortify. As you are about the daily business of steering clear of “foreign gods” and removing “high places” from your life, God will grant you stretches of peace. In those stretches, fortify. Build up your arsenal of memorized Scripture that you will be able to use the next time the enemy attacks. (After all, the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.) Build protective walls through sincere prayer that will strengthen your relationship and trust in God. Reinforce by bolstering your friendships with other saints of God who will be there for you when the next wave of hard times comes around.
After those years of peace, sure enough, trouble came knocking at Judah’s door once again in the form of the Ethiopian army of one million men. King Asa set the troops of Judah in battle array and then cried out to the Lord his God saying, “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 man prevail against You!” Second Chronicles 14:11.
Why could King Asa pray such a bold, secure prayer? He had been living right during times of peace. He had fortified. And sure enough, God defeated that vast, invading army so completely that the Bible tells us, “…So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the LORD and His army. And they (Judah) carried away very much spoil” Second Chronicles 14:13.
Nothing has changed in God’s economy. As we live rightly toward God and fortify during times of peace, we can be assured that God will have our backs in times or trouble.
©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com.
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