S (Scripture): 2 Chronicles 15:19 There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign. 16:1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel attacked Judah, and he established Ramah as a military outpost to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the land of King Asa of Judah. 16:2 Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace and sent it to King Ben Hadad of Syria, ruler in Damascus, along with this message: 16:3 “I want to make a treaty with you, like the one our fathers made. See, I have sent you silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel, so he will retreat from my land.” 16:4 Ben Hadad accepted King Asa’s offer and ordered his army commanders to attack the cities of Israel.
O (Observation): For 35 years King Asa of Judah (the southern kingdom) sought the Lord for assistance for spiritual matters and for matters of war. For some reason, he seeks a foreign army to keep his northern compatriots at bay. Hmm…I wonder why…?
A (Application): Last night, our Theology on Tap group had a great discussion. Topic: Who do you look up to? What ensued was an interesting and very honest conversation about idols, sin, and redemption.
Instead of starting with a particular person, we started with the recognition that we are all sinners in need of redemption. This means that none of us has a person that we look up to completely and totally, without reservation. We recognized that the folks we discussed were as in much need of redeeming as those of us who shared a meal and beverages around the table last night.
Asa was probably looked up to quite a bit. 35 years he relied on the Lord. Yet, he, too, took a course that would bring him and his people shame.
With this text, taken with last night’s conversation, I’m reminded how much we are all in need of redemption. Jesus Christ is that redemption for me, making it possible for me to reconcile my sinful self, while also looking at myself as God sees me: beloved, broken, but built up again.
I hope you see yourself as a sinner of God’s own redeeming, able to stand before the Lord by the merit of grace alone. God sees you for who God created you to be. God has equipped you. God trusts you with his grace, to be shared lavishly in this world, so that others can know the grace that you know.
Who do you look up to? Why? What faults do they have? For what reasons do you look up to that person?
P (Prayer): Lord, we are not worthy of your grace, yet you grant it to us. We are not worthy to carry your message, yet you trust us and equip us to carry it. We give you thanks for this gift of life which you entrust to us. Amen.