2 Chronicles 16 & Revelation 5

2 Chronicles 16

    In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the LORD and the king's house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, “There is a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease. Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.

    At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time.

    The acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier that had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer's art, and they made a very great fire in his honor.

(2 Chronicles 16 ESV)

Revelation 5

    Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

    And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

    “Worthy are you to take the scroll
        and to open its seals,
    for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
        from every tribe and language and people and nation,
    and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
        and they shall reign on the earth.”
    
        Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

    “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
    and honor and glory and blessing!”
    
        And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

    “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
    
        And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

(Revelation 5 ESV)

Something to Consider

2 Chronicles 16: We are all cursed with this tendency to depend on our resources rather than our Rock - our unchanging, unwavering, unbeatable God. King Asa had spent all his reign trusting in the greatness of our God, but then in a moment of self-reliance, he relied on his resources rather than relying on our God.

Like a lion stalking his prey, sin patiently waits for an opportunity to overpower us. How quickly we forget God's track record of faithfulness and foolishly look elsewhere for what God willingly provides. May we recognize our tendency to trust ourselves more than our Lord and repent of any self-reliance that dismisses our dependency on our Savior.