Whoever said that Chronicles is the most boring book of the Bible? I used to think so too. Then I actually read it! Granted, I’ll give you that I Chronicles isn’t the most interesting book of the Bible, containing a lot of lists of names and such, but it still has some neat stories mixed in. However, most of today’s insights come from the book of II Chronicles. That book has some really powerful content! For example, how is this verse for thought provoking?
“And [Rehoboam] did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.” 2 Chron. 12:14
“…He did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.” When I read that it really made me pause and ponder its meaning and how it might apply to my own heart.
Now for the really powerful stuff!
“Then Asa cried out to the Lord His God, ‘O Lord, no one but You can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord, our God, for we trust in You alone. It is in Your name that we have come against this vast horde [an Ethiopian army]. O Lord, You are our God; do not let mere men prevail against You!” 2 Chron. 14:11
The following insight on the passage comes from E.G.W.’s comments in the SDA Bible Commentary (BC).
“Our hope is not in our knowledge of the truth, and in our own ability, but in the living God…. The Lord would have us look to Him as the source of all our strength, the One who is able to help us…. We are not to lift up ourselves, not to be self-confident, but to trust in God, knowing that He is willing and able to help us.” 3 BC, Ch. 14
The following comes from E.G.W. in a devotional titled Conflict and Courage (CC).
“In time of peace, Asa had not been giving himself to amusement and pleasure; he had been preparing for any emergency…. Having sought the Lord in days of prosperity, the king could now rely upon him in the day of adversity.” CC, Ch. 197, p. 203
Now for another scriptural gem, and the lesson I gleaned from inspiration regarding it:
“Listen to me, Asa!’ [Azariah] shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The lOrd will stay with you as long as you stay with Him! Whenever you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you abandon Him, He will abandon you.” 2 Chron. 15:2
“Faith is not feeling; faith is not sight. ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’…. The promise itself is of no value unless I fully believe that He that made the promise is abundantly able to fulfill, and infinite in power to do all that He has said…. Feeling is not at all reliable.” This Day With God, Ch. 148, p. 156
What about this one? It kind of fits with the thought-provoking verse I shared at the beginning of this post (2 Chron. 12:14).
“All in Judah were happy about this covenant [with the Lord], for they had entered into it with all their heart. They earnestly sought after God, and they found Him. And the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side.” 2 Chron. 15:15
Maybe preparing ones heart to seek the Lord has to do with convenanting with Him with all ones heart?
“Jehoshaphat was terrified by the news [of the enemy attack] and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting…. He prayed… ‘O our God, won’t You stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to You for help’…. [Mattaniah said], ‘You will not need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. he is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” 2 Chron. 20:3, 12, 17
“It is not our efforts that bring victory. it is seeing God behind the promise, and believing and trusting Him. Grasp by faith the hand of infinite power. The Lord is faithful who hath promised.” The Upward Look, p. 133
“Not by disciplined armies and fenced cities, but by a living faith in God and Israel, could he [Jehosephat] hope to gain the victory over these heathen who boasted of their power to humble Judah in the eyes of the nations…. Apparent impossibilities will make the victory all the greater.” CC, p. 217
“Then Hezekiah encouraged [the people] by saying: ‘Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!'” 2 Chron. 32:6-8
“Nothing more quickly inspired faith than the exercise of faith. The king of Judah had done his part in making ready for the coming storm; and now, confident that the prophecy against the Assyrians would be fulfilled, he stayed his soul upon God…. Judah had nothing to fear, for their trust was in Jehovah.” Review and Herald, May 20, 1914, Para. 7
See what I mean? Such examples of faith and trust in the Lord, and in the Old Testament too! That’s two myths right there that are now debunked: 1) That Chronicles is a boring book of just names and numbers, and 2) That the Old Testament system was one of works, and righteousness by faith did not come into play until the New Testament.
What is your favorite story of faith in the book of Chronicles, or another book of the Old Testament?