Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7, KJV)
At some point in life, we all face situations that can test our resolve and leave us feeling discouraged. Whether it’s a broken relationship, a challenging job, an unattainable goal, or an elusive dream, the temptation to give up can be overwhelming. Thankfully, God has given us a promise in 2 Chronicles 15:7 that can serve as an encouragement in times of difficulty: “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” In this article, we will explore the meaning of this verse and how it can help us stay strong in our faith and persevere in our pursuits.
The words in 2 Chronicles 15:7 were spoken by Azariah the prophet to King Asa of Judah.
Who was King Asa in 2 Chronicles 15?
King Asa was the third king of the Kingdom of Judah and the son of Abijah. He reigned for 41 years, from 910 BC to 869 BC. According to 2 Chronicles 15, Asa was a good king who sought to reform the kingdom and restore worship of the God of Israel.
In 2 Chronicles 15, Asa is recorded as having led a religious revival in Judah. The the prophet Azariah came to Asa and encouraged him to continue his reforms, promising that if he sought the Lord, he would be found by Him.
Asa took Azariah’s words to heart and continued his reforms. He removed the idols and pagan shrines from the land of Judah and commanded the people to seek the Lord. Asa even removed his own grandmother from her position as queen mother because she had worshiped an Asherah pole.
Asa also strengthened the kingdom by building up its defenses and army, and waging war against neighboring nations that posed a threat to Judah’s security.
However, in his later years, he made some mistakes and relied more on alliances with other nations than on the Lord. Despite this, he is still remembered as a faithful king who sought to serve the Lord with all his heart. He was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.
The Spiritual Decline
When Asa ascended to the throne of Judah, the spiritual and religious state of affairs in the kingdom was in a state of decline. The previous king, Abijah, had been a king who had “committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been” (1 Kings 15:3). Abijah’s reign had been marked by war and conflict with the northern kingdom of Israel, and the people of Judah had strayed from following the Lord.
The book of 2 Chronicles describes the people of Judah as having “no true God, no teaching priest, and no law” during the early years of Asa’s reign (2 Chronicles 15:3). This suggests that there was a lack of religious leadership and guidance in the land. The people had turned away from the worship of the one true God and had instead embraced the worship of false gods and idols.
Despite this challenging spiritual climate, Asa was committed to seeking the Lord and leading the people of Judah in a more faithful direction. He removed the idols and false gods from the land, appointed godly priests to serve in the temple, and called the people to seek the Lord with all their hearts. Through his leadership and reforms, Asa was able to turn the spiritual tide in Judah and lead the people back to a more faithful relationship with God.
The kingdom of Judah then was at its lowest point religiously and politically. The people of God in Judah had sunk deep into idolatry and superstition.
King Asa encountered opposition from unwilling and uncooperative subjects within his own realm.
King Asa’s Challenges
King Asa was a man under siege or pressure from multiple fronts. Some of the areas he faced challenges included:
1. External threats from neighboring nations:
King Asa faced threats from neighboring nations, including the kingdom of Israel, which waged war against Judah. In response, Asa prayed to the Lord for help, saying, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you” (2 Chronicles 14:11). King Asa was able to secure victory in these battles through his reliance on God and his efforts to unite the people of Judah in their defense.
2. Internal conflict within his kingdom:
Asa also faced challenges from within his own kingdom, including conflict with his own family members. According to 2 Chronicles 15:16, Asa removed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother because of her involvement in idolatry. In addition, Asa’s own subjects opposed him when he tried to remove the high places from Judah. Despite these challenges, Asa remained committed to his reforms and continued to seek the Lord.
3. Health challenges:
In 2 Chronicles 16, it is mentioned that King Asa became diseased in his feet, which hindered his ability to lead and defend the kingdom. Despite this, he continued to rely on God and seek His guidance in leading the kingdom.
4. Resistance from His Own Family:
King Asa also faced challenges from within his own family. For example, according to 2 Chronicles 15:16-19, his own mother, Maacah, was involved in idolatry and was eventually removed from her position as queen mother because of her disobedience. We read:
Also he removed Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah; and Asa cut down her obscene image, then crushed and burned it by the Brook Kidron. But the high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days. He also brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated: silver and gold and utensils. And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa. (2 Chronicles 15:16-19 NKJV)
5. Personal Doubts:
Asa battled with self-doubt because idol worship was now deeply entrenched in the lives of his people and it wasn’t easy swimming against the current.
King Asa had no godly King in his lineage to emulate or mentor him save for King David – his great-great-grandfather. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather led the people astray. Asa was out on a mission to undo generational evils.
6. Limited resources:
King Asa faced limited resources, as his father had depleted the treasures of the kingdom in building alliances with foreign nations. As a result, King Asa had to rely on God’s provision and guidance in his efforts to reform the kingdom.
God’s Encouragement to Asa
Asa was faced with a daunting task of eradicating idol worship in his kingdom, a task that required courage and dedication. However, he did not have to face this challenge alone. God sent Azariah the prophet, to encourage and strengthen him.
Asa’s efforts to eradicate idol worship were not easy, and he faced opposition from many people who did not support his actions. Therefore, God’s encouragement was vital to him, as it gave him the strength and confidence he needed to continue on his path. God sent Azariah the prophet to encourage and strengthen him.
Azariah’s message to Asa was clear: “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.” (2 Chronicles 15:2 NIV). Asa was reminded that seeking God leads to finding Him, and that forsaking God leads to being forsaken by Him. These words reassured Asa that he was doing the right thing and that God was on his side. With this encouragement, Asa was able to renew his commitment to God and to lead his people on the path of righteousness.
Asa’s encounter with Azariah the prophet is a clear example of God’s love and care for His people. God’s message through the mouth of Azariah was a source of great strength and motivation for Asa. This is a timeless truth that is just as relevant today as it was in Asa’s time. It gave him the courage to stay the course and not to waver in his efforts to eradicate idol worship from his kingdom. It reminded him that he was not alone in this fight and that God was on his side.
In addition to this, God’s encouragement to Asa teaches us that divine approval is the key to success. It is essential to seek God’s approval in all we do because it is only through His approval that we can experience true success and fulfillment in life. When we seek God’s approval, we gain the strength and motivation we need to overcome obstacles and achieve our goals.
As believers, we can also take heart from God’s encouragement to Asa. We too can seek God’s guidance and assurance in our lives, especially when we face difficult and trying situations. We can look to God’s word for strength and motivation, and we can trust that He will be with us as long as we seek Him and remain faithful to Him.
As we face challenges in our own lives, we can find strength and encouragement in God’s promises. Just as Asa was assured of God’s presence and guidance, we too can find comfort in the knowledge that God is with us as long as we remain faithful to Him. We can also take heart in the fact that God will send people into our lives to encourage and support us, just as He sent Azariah to Asa.
Furthermore, God’s encouragement to Asa teaches us that we do not have to face our challenges alone. Asa did not have a mentor or role model to guide him in his fight against idolatry, but God was his guide. God provided him with Azariah the prophet, who inspired him to greatness and reminded him of God’s promises.
God’s Promise Emboldened Asa
The biblical passage goes on to say:
When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of 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. (2 Chronicles 15:8, KJV).
God’s word emboldened Asa to continue with work of reform. God’s promise strengthened his resolve.
Asa’s reforms in 2 Chronicles 15 were a great success. He reinstated the worship of the Lord, removed foreign idols from the land, and destroyed the places of false worship. He also declared that everyone in Judah should seek the Lord with all their heart and soul, and that anyone who did not would be punished.
Asa also removed the high places, desecrated the shrines and images of false gods, and commanded all Judah to follow the Lord. Furthermore, Asa made peace treaties with surrounding nations and fortified Judah’s cities.
These reforms brought great peace and prosperity to Judah.
In our key text, Azariah the prophet assures Asa that his efforts would be rewarded. This raises the question: “What was Asa’s reward for his faithfulness to God?” According to 2 Chronicles 15:15, Asa was rewarded with rest from all his enemies. We read:
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. (2 Chronicles 15:15; 14:7 NIV)
The phrase “rest on every side” in this verse means Asa’s kingdom was at peace with its neighbors. God rewarded King Asa with a peaceful reign.
God also rewarded Asa with a long and prosperous reign. He reigned for forty one years:
Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors. (2 Chronicles 16:13 NIV)
So what was king Asa’s reward? Asa’s reward was two fold: a peaceful and prosperous reign, and longevity of life.
Asa’s obedience to God’s command to remove all idolatrous objects and to renew the altar of the Lord brought him God’s favor and blessing. God gave Asa many victories on the battlefield as a reward for his dedication.
God’s Message to Us
God’s message to King Asa reminds us:
- To be courageous when doing that which is right even when it is unpopular.
- To seek God’s perspective and guidance in decision-making instead of relying on our own understanding
- To perseverance in the face of resistance or opposition.
- To remain patient and focused on our mission even when no one supports it
- To count on God’s provision that He will help us overcome challenges and achieve our goals.
12 Lessons from 2 Chronicles 15:7
The following are lessons we draw from King Asa’s experience in 2 Chronicles 15:
1.God honors His promises to His people:
Asa experienced this firsthand when he followed God’s command to remove all idolatrous objects and to renew the altar of the Lord. Asa was rewarded with peace, prosperity, and a long reign. We can trust that God will also honor His promises to us when we obey Him.
2. God’s seal of approval is the key to success:
Asa’s reforms were successful because he had God’s approval. We should seek God’s approval and guidance in all that we do if we want to be successful.
3. God rewards commitment, dedication, and hard work:
Asa’s dedication to God and his hard work in removing all idolatrous objects and renewing the altar of the Lord were rewarded by God. We can also expect to be rewarded by God when we are committed, dedicated, and work hard in serving Him.
4. Having no mentor or role model to emulate or guide you in life is not a setback:
God will be your guide: Asa did not have a mentor or role model to guide him in his reforms, but he had God as his guide. We should also trust that God will guide us in our lives, even if we don’t have a mentor or role model to look up to.
5. God will put us in contact with people who will inspire us to greatness, just as He did for King Asa through Azariah the prophet:
Azariah the prophet inspired Asa to greatness and guided him in his reforms. We should also expect God to put people in our lives who will inspire us to greatness and guide us in our own journeys.
6. Courage and boldness are required to do what is right, even when it is unpopular:
Asa demonstrated courage and boldness in removing all idolatrous objects and renewing the altar of the Lord, even when it was unpopular. We should also be courageous and bold in doing what is right, even when it goes against popular opinion.
7. Seeking God’s perspective and guidance in decision-making is essential:
Asa sought God’s perspective and guidance in his decision-making, which led to his successful reforms. We should also seek God’s perspective and guidance in all of our decision-making.
8. Perseverance in the face of resistance or opposition is necessary:
Asa faced resistance and opposition in his reforms, but he persevered and was successful. We should also persevere in the face of resistance or opposition in our own lives and endeavors.
9. Remaining patient and focused on our mission is essential, even when no one supports it:
Asa remained patient and focused on his mission, even when no one supported him. We should also remain patient and focused on our own missions, even when no one supports us.
10. Counting on God’s provision and help is necessary to overcome challenges and achieve our goals:
Asa counted on God’s provision and help in his reforms, which led to his success. We should also count on God’s provision and help in overcoming challenges and achieving our goals.
11. Keeping God’s commands leads to peace and prosperity:
Asa’s obedience to God’s commands led to peace and prosperity in his kingdom. We should also keep God’s commands if we want to experience peace and prosperity in our own lives.
12. Longevity of life is a reward for faithfulness to God:
Asa’s faithfulness to God was rewarded with a long reign. We should also expect to be rewarded with a long and prosperous life if we are faithful to God.
A Work to be Done, A Reward to Obtain
In conclusion, the life of Asa teaches us several important lessons. We learn that God is always faithful to His promises, that He honors commitment and dedication, and that He rewards hard work. We also see that even when we have no mentor or role model to guide us, God can step in and be our guide. Furthermore, we learn that God will put us in contact with people who will inspire us to greatness, just as he did for King Asa through Azariah the prophet.
As Christians, we also have a work to do in the form of the Great Commission, and God has promised both a kingdom and a reward for those who are faithful to Him. The crown of righteousness that we will receive on the day of Christ’s appearing should motivate us to stay strong and not give up, even in the face of opposition or discouragement.
So when the devil tempts us to give up, we should remember the words of 2 Chronicles 15:7: “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” Let us remain steadfast and persevere in the work that God has called us to do, knowing that He is with us every step of the way.
God, thank you for your promise in 2 Chronicles 15:7. Help us to stay strong and not give up, despite the obstacles. Give us wisdom and courage to move forward, reminding us that our work will be rewarded, and You are always with us. In Jesus' name, men.
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