Reading through the books of Chronicles has made interesting reading. Even though I have read them before there was something this time that stood out very clearly to me. Something of these books parallels in my life and in the life of every believer. The books of I and II Chronicles follows the events of Judah after the rest of Israel separated from them.
The good kings were; Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah.
The bad things were; Rehoboam, Abijah, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah, Ahaz, Manasseh, Amon, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.
Whenever a king obeyed the ways of the Lord things went well for the kingdom of Judah and whenever enemies came against them those enemies were defeated. But if they did what was evil in God’s sight, the whole kingdom suffered and they suffered defeat at the hands of their enemies. It all goes along with the commandments that were given by God through Moses in which he said:
‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the LORD’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.
“For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him— then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.
“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the terebinth trees of Moreh? For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it. And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today. Deuteronomy 11:13-32 (NKJV)
They had been warned beforehand there would be consequences to disobedience, so they were without excuse. The more they cursed God the worse things got for them. But if they turned their hearts around God was able to bless them.
Have you noticed that interesting parallel in our own walks with God? When we serve the Lord with all our hearts and do all that He has required of us, things go well for us. Even in the difficulties we may face God gives us the strength to go through them. There is a peace that goes way beyond our understanding. We can face whatever this world may throw at us. But if we push God aside for a while and set up idols in our lives and give in to sin, things can get pretty messed up. We lose sight of God’s promises and every trial we face seems like an up hill battle. I have seen it in action in my own life. When I obey, things go well and I experience blessing in my life, but when I sin and walk away from God things fall apart and I lose the blessing as well as God’s peace in my life.
The same goes for nations. If a nation decides follow God and His precepts it will go well for them and they will receive a blessing. If not they are cursed. That is why I am very concerned for the United States and Canada right now. They are enacting laws that are contrary to God’s laws. These laws actually make it a crime to speak out or defend your self against certain groups of people who practice unrighteousness. Judgement is coming and only national and personal repentance can turn it around. In the dedication of the temple the Lord spoke to Solomon and said in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14; When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land. The same goes for us and our nations today.
The Lord wants our obedience. He won’t force it from us. He wants us to serve Him willingly. Our lives need to be built upon Christ and Christ alone. Only then when will we have the success that we have been promised. Only then will we prosper in all we do.
Jesus said; So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock. and the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid (foolish) man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell–and great and complete was the fall of it. Matthew 7:24-27 (AMP)
I love the old hymn "Trust and Obey" It’s words are awesome and so true.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favour He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
You want a blessed life? You want a life that is truly happy and full? Then obey God’s word and let go of compromise. Turn from unrighteousness and watch for the difference it will make in your life.