Thursday, September 13, 2012

2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25: Find Yourself in a Battle?

King Amaziah, king of Judah decided it would be a good idea to build up his army. He assembled the men of Judah and Benjamin, 300,000 of them and proceeded to hire Israeli mercenaries for 100 talents a piece.

2 Chronicles 25:7-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 But a man of God came to him, saying, O king, do not let all this army of Ephraimites of Israel go with you [of Judah], for the Lord is not with you,

8 For if you go [in spite of warning], no matter how strong you are for battle, God will cast you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to cast down.

We can be assured that if follow God's lead, He not only helps us in the battle, but that battle belongs to Him. But sometimes we find ourselves in a battle, which the Lord did not command us to fight. It's a hard word, but God can't help us when we choose to do things our own way.

Christians who desire to be pleasing to God seek the Lord for the direction of their life, which ultimately leads to the battles we face. If we follow God's lead, we can be assured that God is with us in the battles of this life.

But what if we decided to go our own way?

This is where it gets a little sticky. From personal experience, the times when I missed the mark or misheard direction from the Lord were the times that led to battles resulting in great heartache. Yet, I never felt like the Lord left me to fight on my own during these times. I think it's because my heart was searching for God, His direction, and the right thing to do at the right time.

It was in some of the darkest seasons of my life, that the Lord revealed Himself to me with the most beautiful and powerful displays of His love. And some of these dark seasons were initiated by a decision to do what I wanted to do, rather than follow the direction of God.  I was immature and ignorant.

There are consequences for disobedience.

But in those consequences, we have a Father Who lovingly leads us back to the path He has preordained. If we humble ourselves in the midst of battle, God is so merciful and so loving, that He turns to hear our cries. He executes justice for those oppressed.

Psalm 146:6-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, Who keeps truth and is faithful forever,

7 Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets free the prisoners,

8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those upright in heart and in right standing with Him).

The distinction is not made whether the oppressed person has been obedient or disobedient. The cause of the oppression is not mentioned.  I think of how God's mercies are new every morning. To me, that means if I messed up the previous day, God is longingly waiting for me to accept His mercy the next.

Lamentations 3:22-23
Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

An oppressed person, whether by willful choice or not, is not consumed because God's tender compassions fail not!!!

This is the God I serve.  He is not One Who points a finger or disapprovingly scolds saying, "I told you so."  He is the One Who fights for the oppressed, loving calling and interceding, desiring for that one to receive the mercy and empowerment available to be set free from that oppression.

Yes, battles do come.  It's a part of living, but with God by our side we will ultimately be victorious!  And in the process learn, that God is God and we always need to follow His lead!

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