Zerah the Cushite marched out against Judah with a humongous army. King Asa deployed 580,000 troops but they were still vastly outnumbered. Thirty years earlier, facing similar overwhelming odds, King Rehoboam capitulated before King Shishak of Egypt and his Libyan, Sukkite and Cushite hordes. Fortunately, Asa was not like Rehoboam. Instead of surrendering, this king in faith prayed to the Lord asking for His help. His heavenly Protector responded by leading them to victory. It was after this battle that the prophet Azariah came and spoke the following words.
2 Chronicles 15:2--So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Asa and all Judah and Benjamin, hear me. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you abandon Him, He will abandon you.
God promised to be with Asa and his countrymen so long as they sought Him and obeyed Him. The phrase “The Lord is with you” comes from the Hebrew word matsa and literally means, “His presence coming forth to enable, to bless.” Matsais illustrated in Matthew 18:20 where Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
Sarah and Stephen talked us into bringing home two kittens last night. I said, “As long as you commit to responsibly caring for them, I’ll agree.” So a little female black bundle of fur and her Siamese-marked brother left our friends the Jacksons to join the York household. Bear, our overgrown Rott-Lab, was quite excited. Unfortunately, because of his size and power, he is quite capable of inflicting harm, whether accidentally or intentionally. So long as the kittens stay close to us, they are safe from Bear. We provide matsa—the blessing of protection and an environment where two vulnerable kitties can eat, drink, play and sleep safely.
Sometimes I wonder if God sees us as wayward kittens. Despite the reality of His protective presence, we are prone to wander. Instead of confident living, we hide in terror behind the piano, hoping that big fearsome beast will leave us alone! How often we suffer the consequences of our own poor choices. God will not linger when we ignore Him. And we have no right to blame Him for our own misdoings.
So, friend, let’s join Oswald Chambers in praying “O Lord, bless me this hour with the glow of Thy presence and sense of Thy nearness. I do trust only in Thee, yet I long for conscious delight in Thy presence, if Thou wilt vouchsafe it to me.” We are children of the Almighty who promises us His matsa! And that’s something to think about . . . in reveration!
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)