2 Chronicles 14: 1—16: 14
Godly choices bring peace. There is no way around it. Asa lines his life and Judah up with what they know of God and sees the chaos created from the idol worship, so he cleans house. Because of this the people has peace and rest. This principle is true for us believers as well. We can be living lives of chaos, but if we line our lives up with what we know of God and make choices that reflect Him, He will give us peace in the midst of this crazy world.
Something changed in Asa though. He saw God beat the army of the Ethiopian, but when faced with war later in his life he responded by removing the gold and silver from the Temple to by an alliance with King Ben-hadad of Aram. My guess is that he fell victim to circumstantial comfort. This happens when we have a fat bank account, nice house, good wife or hubby, and all the creature comforts. We start to think we are the king of our own destiny. Until we wind up with a foot disease that has no cure, or something similar like Asa did. I know I have been a fool in this way. We have to be on guard for this!
Romans 9: 1-24
Paul taught us in chapter 8 that the Spirit is our power and what helps us win the war against our sin nature. He also told us that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. But that statement would have made all the hands go up in the room with people wanting to ask this question, “If nothing can separate us from God’s love then how do you explain what He did to the Israelites?” So, for the next 3 chapters Paul is going to explain the status of the relationship between God and Israel. This is important because if God cast Israel off, then He is not faithful to His word. But we know God is faithful to His Word so Paul is going to tell us what is going here.
First, he explains who an actual child of the Promise is, meaning a real member of His chosen nation. The Promise is the covenant God made with Abraham. See Genesis 12 for a review of that Promise. Abraham had many children, but Isaac is the one God said He would fulfill the Promise through. And when Rebekah and Isaac had their twins, Jacob was who God chose to fulfill the Promise through. God gets to decide who He shows mercy to. He is our creator it is for Him to choose. He even used Pharaoh in the reverse way to show His Glory. Meaning He allowed Pharaoh to reject Him so he could bring the plagues and prove that the pantheon of gods Egypt had in place were not real. And this truth, that God created us and gets to do with us what He chooses, is the first hard truth we have to get over. Our sin nature rises up and says, “Wait! How can you hold me accountable when I am just a puppet doing your bidding?” But God is so much deeper and more complicated than just being a puppeteer. He wants His Glory to shine through us. Remember yesterday we said that unless He woo’s you, you would never believe in God on your own because your sin nature is hostile to God. But he does woo us and chooses us to show off His mercy. He could make the choice to show us His wrath because that is what we deserve, but He made a different choice. His mercy and patience to us shows off the deepness of a Loving God, not the act of a puppeteer.