The LORD Offers Reform
“The Spirit of GOD came upon Azariah the son of Obed, 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. For a long time Israel was without the true GOD, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the GOD of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for GOD troubled them with every sort of distress. But you take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” – 2 Chronicles 15:1-7
2 Chronicles 15:1-7 Audio https://voca.ro/173fJ3YBhsp0
Commentary Audio https://voca.ro/1gdzf5iWH56R
In 2 Chronicles there is a story of a king called Asa who followed the will of the LORD. He was instructed by the prophet at the time, Azariah, to make sure to change the way of Israel because they had been prone to commit spiritual idolatry. Asa hears the message and is fast to go to do what is needed. The message is very clear and states what was needed at the time. The kingdom of Judah had not been walking in spiritual faithfulness due to the examples that were given either by the king or through the actions of its inhabitants.
This changes when Asa receives instruction to change the ways that spiritual matters were held. The LORD is offering repentance and the ability to change from a way that was leading to destruction. The LORD states that if Asa sought the LORD, the LORD would be found. This same message can apply today in seeing that the LORD wants to have us near to Him. He does not want us to feel like we can do everything on our own. It is not only a spiritual message but it impacts every other area of life.
The LORD through the prophet Azariah states that it was during the time of distress that the people turned towards the LORD, He was found by them. He allows us to find Him and gives us the opportunity to find Him every day. The distress was described in detail as there being no peace and great disturbances had caused difficulties. This was all because they had no found the living LORD. Then there is a call to action to act now and allow the changes to be made.
Asa then makes the reforms needed in order for Judah to have the LORD present with them. Similarly, in a spiritual sense, there are times when everything seems to be in distress before finding the LORD. Everything is difficult to understand or to even attempt to make sense of it all. When we find the LORD, we see that everything has a purpose and a reason. He wants us to live a life that is close to Him. Like Judah, the LORD does not want anyone to perish or to continue being broken in pieces. He was us to be committed to having a relationship with Him and allowing the LORD to enter our hearts to allow for peace. With this we have to also be able to continue working by changing our ways and making sure that His commandments are followed and that our ways originate from a pure heart.