Wow what promises in today's reading of 2 Chronicles! The first part just hit me, bam!
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.”
There is so much here!
First off, If we seek Him, we will find Him, but if we forsake Him, He will forsake us. How much of today's reading is a declaration of today's world? We are in such disarray, such turmoil because we have forsaken our Lord!
The next part is like a newspaper headline out of any city "In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another..." Our world, our nations and cities echo that statement. There is strife and turmoil everywhere. But this scripture says it's so because God was troubling them with every kind of distress.
I wonder, I really seriously wonder if the Lord is allowing a lot of what is happening in our world to bring us back. What did the people of this scripture do? They turned to the Lord in their distress. Kinda reminds me of another text we read not so long ago "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." God is all about getting people to come back to Him and He is willing to do anything to get us to do just that. He is even willing to risk us turning away for good by sending us through distress, if it means we might come back to Him.
So, yeah, God is sending every kind of distress on our land. Yeah, He wants us and the people of our nation back. People, we as Christians need to be on our knees. We need to be pulling other people down with us to pray. We need to be praying for others to be praying.
God has given us a promise in the last part of this scripture "But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” How long have some Christians been praying for lost loved ones? How long have we been praying for our nation? How long must we pray? I don't know, I just know this says Do. Not. Give. Up. Our work will be rewarded. Rest assured my friends, God hears us. Our prayers do not fall on deaf ears. I believe the promises of scripture. I believe God will heal our land. I encourage you, I implore you to join me in prayer for our nation, our world and the lost. I pray an insatiable desire to see the lost come to Christ. I pray that all Christians everywhere are on their knees in prayer. And whatever you do, don't give up.
PS- I also kept wondering just what the high places were and how they were different from the other areas of pagan worship mentioned in scripture. I found this website. Hope it's helpful!
Tomorrow's passage: 2 Chronicles 17-18, 2 Corinthians 6