Asa built . . . because the LORD had given him rest.
In 2 Chronicles 14 we meet Asa, king of Judah, and in 14:2 the Scripture says, “Asa did good and right in the sight of the LORD his God.” King Asa, therefore, is going to be a good example to us, a role model for us to follow, so we will look for things that Asa did and then do likewise, at least in principle.
When we reach 2 Chronicles 14:6, we discover that Asa acts with great wisdom and demonstrates a principle that all believers would be wise to emulate. The Scripture reads:
“He (Asa) built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the LORD had given him rest.” 2 Chron. 14:6 (NASB)
PRINCIPLE: When the LORD gives you periods of rest and relative peace, use those times to build your spiritual strength so that you are ready for future battles.
At the beginning of his reign, Asa had a period of ten years when the land was undisturbed (14:1) and he made great use of that time. He removed much of the idolatry from Judah and he commanded the people to return to the LORD God (14:3-5). But Asa also built fortified cities and surrounded them with walls and towers, gates and bars (14:6-7). “So they built and prospered.”
Now let us consider what our brother Asa did during the time of peace and rest and learn what the Scripture is teaching us through his example. Notice that Asa found himself the new ruler of a kingdom in which there was rest and prosperity. There was no war and there was no real strife or conflict. Now in that situation Asa could have simply indulged himself and created more luxury and opulence in Jerusalem. That was what the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel had done and the results had been bad. But Asa knew that, as the LORD gives rest, He may also allow or bring war and conflict. Since the future is unknown and since the king should prepare his kingdom for war, Asa used the time of rest to build his strength. And so Asa firmly and clearly established the fact that his reign would be marked by obedience to the LORD. He also took practical steps to strengthen his kingdom’s defenses and to fortify his cities. In other words, instead of squandering ten years of peace, Asa used that time for edification to the glory of God.
The APPLICATION for the believer is clear. When the Lord brings you into a “broad place” where there is peace and prosperity, use that time to “fortify your own cities,” figuratively speaking. When the Lord gives you rest for a season, invest that season so that you will be strong in a time of battle.
What are some practical examples?
When the Lord gives you rest, LEARN TO PRAY WITH URGENCY AND WITH POWER so that you will be ready to pray in the midst of the fire. Make sure that heaven is very familiar with your voice.
When the Lord gives you rest and “no one is at war with you,” use that time to ATTACK ANY REMAINING OR INDWELLING SIN in your life. David said, “Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). Seasons of rest are excellent times to examine yourself and weaken the flesh. Target specific areas of sin or places where you are vulnerable to temptation and confess and repent and deepen your holiness. During those times of peace, allow the Holy Spirit to search you and show you any wicked ways and then bring that into the light. Don’t waste those times of rest, but rather use them to strengthen the purity of your walk with the Lord.
When the Lord gives you rest, DEEPEN YOUR TRUST in the Lord. Know and be confident that the Lord is worthy of your complete trust. Then you will be ready when the serious threats arise and when Satan whispers doubts in your ears.
When the Lord gives you rest, make the most of that time by using it to BECOME GROUNDED IN THE WORD OF GOD. Know the promises that God has given so that they will be available in time of trouble. Know biblical doctrine and theology so that you won’t be shaken when persecution or heresy arises.
PRAYER – PURIFY – TRUST – SCRIPTURE. Becoming strong in these spiritual disciplines during times of rest will prepare you to stand firm and steadfast in the battles.
SDG rmb 10/12/2016