2 Chronicles 15:1-2
1 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.
Asa the king was a good king.
He understood where his security lay.
The history of the following passage is the battle between the children of Israel (specifically the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) and Zerah the Ethiopian. Turns out that Asa had an army of 580,000 men, while Zerah had close to double the men, coming in at one thousand thousand men (1,000,000 men), with 300 chariots! In the midst of this threat, Asa sought out God and God gave a tremendous victory!
After the victory and the mop up operations, that brought in much booty for the children of Israel, the prophet Azariah comes out to meet the king and his troops. His message to Asa is found in 2 Chronicles 15:1-2
Asa was informed of his conditional security in the following three phrases.
- The Lord is with you while ye be with Him – Security!
- If ye seek Him, He will be found of you – Security!
- If ye forsake Him, He will forsake you. – Not so much!
Seems simple enough. Not much to debate on this passage, or so it seems.
Of course, the direct application of security is for the king and the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, during their lives, but this promise given is instructive for us to consider.
The children of Israel could claim a status before the Lord that no other nation could lay hold of. They had incredible promises and privileges.
4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.
5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
And with all these privileges, the children of Israel, as the Old Testament Theocracy, is no more. Brought to extinction close to 2000 years ago, the children of Israel had the kingdom taken from them…
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.
I suppose the loss of the Kingdom itself speaks of the conditional security before the Lord and Master of the Covenant. Continual rebellion (see an earlier post on Leviticus 26) brought about many, many efforts by the Lord to bring them back to the faith, with the final judgment falling upon the nation that showed their hatred of God by the crucifixion of His Son.
Conditional security of the believer is pictured often in the history of the nation of Israel. I think of Romans 15:4 and 1 Corinthians 10:11 when reading the Old Testament and the history of the nation as a warning for myself. So often I can place myself in the shoes of the men in the stories I read.
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
1 Corinthians 10:11
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
And yet I have hope. In the midst of rebellion, I can choose to cling to the One who rescues, Who is the Deliverer.
But I digress…
A Good King, with Good Fruit, Reminded of his Conditional Security
As a recap, let’s remember that Asa, as a good king, had called out to the Lord at a time of need, had experienced God’s security (a great deliverance), and, as the following passages teaches, was following God’s leading.
1 Kings 15:11,13-14
11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done. …
13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron.
14 But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the LORD all his days.
Even the book of Chronicles gives high marks to King Asa, and the author of the Chronicles seems to be reluctant to give praise in comparison to the author of the book of Kings. (Check it out.) It seems the book of Kings generally grades in the political arena, where Chronicles grades in the religious area of a king’s life.
2 Chronicles 14:2-7
2 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.
So Asa had a great victory after calling on the Lord, had a great track record up till this point in his life, and then, it seems out of the blue, comes along the prophet Azariah, to give the assurance of God’s presence. That is IF Asa sought Him and did not forsake Him.
Fruit of the Conditional Security Teaching
Is it not usually claimed that the conditional security teaching is a teaching of fear and threats? It seems the opposite is happening here, where a godly man is reminded that he is with the Lord and that he needs to continue to seek Him out. And Asa’s track record bears witness that the message was fruitful.
It is important to understand that a teachings veracity is not to be based on its fruitfulness but on its truthfulness. Nevertheless, a true message, delivered and understood correctly, will produce fruit (eventually).
A true message understood correctly by a soft heart that seeks to follow the Master will respond with an admission of weakness and a desire to follow.
A true message understood correctly by a hardened heart will respond with argument, denial, blameshifting, name calling and such.
But brothers, we have not so learned Christ.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.