DEJA-TRUE

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FAMILIAR PATTERNS OF SUCCESS

Abijah has lived long and prospered, and his son has had a godly example.  Asa lives in a time when some people in Judah are straying from the Lord.  He assumes the responsibility of a godly leader as his father did.

So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years.  And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:  For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:  And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.  Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.  And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.  2 Chronicles 14:1-6

For Judah there was no question of religious tolerance.  Who would challenge God who reveals himself to his prophets?  This was the remnant of faith descended from Abraham, destined to represent the best of mankind under the law.  For king Asa the faithful defense of faith earned years of peace.  In time his challenge would come though.  Asa made sure that Judah was ready.

Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.  And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour.  And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah.  Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.  2 Chronicles 14:7-10

Judah retained a standing army of 500,000 which was challenged by a million Ethiopians.  What possessed the Ethiopians to travel so far to oppose Judah?  They had to cross other nation’s territories or possibly open sea to arrive near Jerusalem.  The world goes to great lengths to oppose faith, blind to the cost, and to their certain failure.  In our age many Ethiopians are Jewish, and have come to Israel as citizens.  This may have been a lesson they would remember to draw them to God.  Asa knew where to find his help.

And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee.  So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled.  And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil.  And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them.  They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 14:11-15

The logistics to support a great army were to become the spoils of victory to the faithful.  The Lord fought the battle, and a victory against two to one odds was given to Judah.  In their ignorance Ethiopia lost thousands of men who would not return to their families.  Today they have both Jewish and Christian faith which suggests they have learned from this dark day in their history.  Israel may soon do the same.

Today Israel faces even greater odds with so many hostile nations around them.  Conditions are ripe for a great conflict today.  We are ordered to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  That peace will come in the form of the Prince of Peace, their Messiah Yeshua.  We should pray for the day when they will look on God who they pierced.  When the high places of misguided religion are torn down they will finally see the conclusion of the Law and victory over darkness.  Yeshua is their messiah and their victory.  He has fought the battle for them and it is finished.

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PROSPERITY 

Solomon built on the foundation that his father David had provided.  David had provided well for his son’s reign.  There were men and materials for every need of the kingdom.  My own father passed away recently, and he too provided well for us.  Now I cannot come to him for help, but he provided material and skills for life.  I have hope from his example and still more from a heavenly father who has provided for my eternal life.  But I will face my mistakes alone except for the grace of God.  Solomon will also make mistakes, and find that grace in time.

And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, wherein Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house,  That the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.  And Solomon went to Hamathzobah, and prevailed against it.  And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store cities, which he built in Hamath.  Also he built Bethhoron the upper, and Bethhoron the nether, fenced cities, with walls, gates, and bars;  And Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had, and all the chariot cities, and the cities of the horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and throughout all the land of his dominion.  2 Chronicles 8:1-6

Solomon enjoys prosperity and an alliance with the king to his north.  He is on top of the situation, and on the high ground with the defense of Israel.  There were no enemies firing rockets into his kingdom.

As for all the people that were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which were not of Israel,  But of their children, who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel consumed not, them did Solomon make to pay tribute until this day.  But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and captains of his chariots and horsemen.  And these were the chief of king Solomon’s officers, even two hundred and fifty, that bare rule over the people.  2 Chronicles 8:7-10

Foreigners were taxed if they lived within the borders of Israel.  But the Jews were not given to slavery or menial assignments.  They were men of war, in positions of honor.  They had assignments high up in life, which is sometimes a place one can fall from.  Youth and energy may eventually become weary and risk a misstep on the slippery slopes of life.

 

And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come.  Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch,  Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.  And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded.  And they departed not from the commandment of the king unto the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures. 2 Chronicles 8:11-15

Solomon has the house of Israel operating in the sacrifices ordained under Moses.  Everything is working well for him now.  One small slippery spot looms in his path though.  He has married a queen of Egypt, a foreigner.  He will marry others in the future.  These relationships will become like loose rocks on a steep incline. 

These photos show young climbers in a similar situation.  If they chose their steps carefully they will come down with care after their high view experience.  They may chose the rocks that do not roll and enjoy a safe descent.  We do often see rescue teams evacuating injured hikers or climbers in our mountains. 

Solomon will slide back a bit, but we will see him catch the hope of life before he reaches the edge of decision.  It will fulfill his destiny to complete wisdom.