Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 23 - 2 Chronicles 16

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Chronicles 16. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Asa, the King of Judah, is intimidated by the actions of Israel and his response is to enter into an alliance with a foreign nation (Aram) by giving them treasures from God's temple (verses 1-9).
  • Hanani came to confront Asa with his lack of faith (verses 7-9). Instead of listening and learning, Asa becomes furious and puts Hanani in jail (verse 10).
  • Asa got a disease in his feet (verses 12). It seems that it may have been a consequence of his disobedience of God. The Bible is clear that sickness and disease is not always a consequence of our sin, but it can be.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Asa shows a lack of trust in God. Instead of trusting God, he puts his trust in the strength of other nations. The crazy thing, as Hanani points out, is that God had proven His strength and faithfulness to him, but somehow he's forgotten. Asa is stubborn in not trusting God, refusing to pray when he becomes sick. God was always available to him (we are told, in 2 Timothy 2:14, "if we are faithless, He remains faithful") but he would not turn to God.
    • We need to do the opposite of Asa. We need to, first and foremost, put our trust in God. When that's difficult, it can help us to remember how God has proven His faithfulness in the past (whether to us or others).
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is God really the one you trust in? Let's analyze:
    • How high of a priority is it for you to spend quality time praying each day? (If prayer is not a high priority, it's a sign God is not who your trust is in.)
    • When you go through a difficult time, what's your initial response? Is it to get stressed? To complain? To talk to your friends? Or ... to turn to God and pray? (If you don't turn to God when times are tough, it's a sign God is not who your trust is in.)
    • When you give advice to someone, does your advice focus on the person's need to center their life and their handling of the situation on God? (If your best advice for others isn't their need to rely on God, it's a sign God is not who your trust is in.)
  • If your trust isn't first and foremost in God, do you see (like from Asa's example) what the consequences might be?
  • And, if your trust isn't first and foremost in God, how do you think you can get there? What would help grow your faith in God and lead you to make turning to Him your automatic response?