2 Chronicles 15:1-19 – Those Wise Ones You Need In Your Life

Posted: August 24, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 15:1-19

Asa Rules in Judah

Opening Illustration/Comments

Today is my last day of being 57. Tomorrow, I will officially turn 58 at 7:10am. Man, where did all that time go? Seems like yesterday I was 50. Seems like yesterday I was in my early 30’s. That time, almost 30 years now, sure did go by way faster than the first 30. I am going down toward 60 now with a rapid pace. And people call me “sir” now. When did THAT happen? Inside, the little boy’s heart that I have living alive and well in there is screaming, I am not that old. I am still young. I am still goofy and silly. I am still one that take a dare of physical ability. I still love to have my music blaring on the stereo in my car (of course, that is, when I am alone in my car). Anytime, my wife is away and I am home alone, I am like a kid of the old days playing his albums on dad’s fancy stereo system when they are out of town. I crank up my tunes on the stereo in my study/man cave here at the parsonage. I mean I crrrrraannnk it up! I still love to play pick up games of football. But people call me sir. Young people think I am old. I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all. LOL! My teenager Mark inside can’t believe it all is now all the way up to 58 years, cuz I still have a kid’s heart.

However, the 58 years have taught me much. The biggest one, since I am just a big kid inside, is that wherever I am living, I just ask the Holy Spirit to find me someone to observe and watch that are wise people of God. These are men and women who have discerning hearts that are grown ups in their heart (not just chronologically), are just innately intelligent and wise, are discerning about things, and display the fruit of the sprit in their lives. Since I began this journey to full-time ministry over the past decade there have been several men and women who I admire with their even-keeled wisdom, their discernment, their spiritual maturity, and the just that ability to say the right things at the right time that I need to hear. There have been Jeff Hickman, Brian McKnight, Junior Taylor, Humbert Perez, Mark Patterson, Beva Bailey, Bonnie Moody, just to name a few of the many wise counselors I had at LifeSong Church in Lyman, SC. At Calvary Church in Moline, IL, my wise counselors included Fred Parks, Glenn Gustafson, Frank Leihsing, Bob Herath, Kit Vargas, Frank & Chonya Davis, Karen Ahrens, just to name a few of the many there who influenced me with their wisdom and discernment. Here, at Lamar, it’s a little different when you are the head/solo pastor so it’s a little more difficult to develop those trusted relationships than when you are a part-time church employee, or an associate pastor. It’s just different and more difficult to have those deep down type relationships. However, there are a few that I have already learned that are my trusted advisors and those that I would seek out regardless of their position at our church. These trusted advisors that I have developed so far include Rocky Scarborough, Mike Lloyd, and Fran Knotts. All these folks at all three stops in my ministerial lineage have had a profound impact on my growth in spiritual maturity by just watching these folks and by having meaningful conversations with them. To all these named ones and the ones that I have not named that I could not think of quickly as I was writing this, I thank you. I would not be where I am in ministry at this point in my ministry career as of August 24, 2020.

Then, there’s my wife, Elena! Wow, what a person to watch live out the Christ life. Just her advice, her counsel, her wisdom, her spiritual maturity, her sometimes dogged determination to make me speak about those things that are bothering me. I am a very private person about my feelings. Most guys are, but I think I take it to extremes at times. Maybe it’s because growing up as a preacher’s kid and a Methodist one at that (where you move every few years), you had to be self-contained and have the ability to be OK on your own. However, there are things that we have to just get out of our mind into the air in conversation. Elena gets me to get those things out there and you know sometimes the dangerous cliffs that we create in our mind are simply speedbumps when you actually take them out in the light. So, thank you for your wisdom and discernment and your spiritual maturity and all that you have meant to me in my ministry journey over this past decade, dear Elena!

It is that idea of having those trusted spiritual mentors in your life so that you mature in your walk with Christ (just by watching, talking to, and listening to these people) that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 15:1-19. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

15 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when 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, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of[a] Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple.

9 Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

10 They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the Lord seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder they had brought back. 12 They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 13 All who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the Lord with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.

16 King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 18 He brought into the temple of God the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.

19 There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Asa wisely welcomed people who had a close relationship with God. He listened to their messages. Azariah gave the armies an important warning and encouraged them to stay close to God. This passage is a reminder to us to keep in contact with people who you know have a close relationship with the Lord, display the fruit of the Spirit, and seemed to be filled with faith, hope and wisdom of the Lord. Through these wise counselors in our lives, they can help us discern what is true and faithful to the Lord in our words, actions and deeds.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that we, as that famous philosopher from Lyman, SC, Junior Taylor, often says, “we’re all in this together!” That’s the point of the fellowship of believers. It’s so we can develop those relationships that help us mature in Christ. We cannot do this Christ follower thing alone or in a vacuum. We must have people to watch. We must have people to discuss things with. We must have people that will be honest with us. We must have people that will tell us when we have “gone off the rails!” We must have those people that we just admire for the fruit of the Spirit that is obviously evident in their lives. Those are the people that don’t flit around with every wind or breeze. They are steady. They are discerning. They say things that are biblically based without even trying. They know the Word but it is so much a part of their lives that the things they say are biblical in nature because they have ingested God’s Word and not just read it. These are the people that will give you the advise you need. These are the people too that are the ones that will encourage you to push on, to be what you have been called to be. And most of all, they just seem to enjoy living! That’s a real person of God when you can see these things in them. Keep them close. Get to know them. They are more valuable than gold.

Amen and Amen.

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