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📅 Today's QT - Nov 18, 2018 (SUN)

Spiritual Decline
2 Chronicles 16:1-14

📙 Scripture (NIV)

¹ In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
² Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.
³ “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
⁴ Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali.
⁵ When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work.
⁶ Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.
⁷ At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.
⁸ Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand.
⁹ For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
¹⁰ Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.
¹¹ The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
¹² In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.
¹³ Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors.
¹⁴ They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes, and they made a huge fire in his honor.

📝 Reflection

Faltering Reliance (16:1–14)
Baasha king of Israel threatens to invade Judah and so Asa, king of Judah, seeks an alliance with the king of Aram and uses the temple’s treasure to gain his approval. Baasha abandons his plans because of their treaty, but Hanani the seer rebukes Asa for relying on the king of Aram and not the LORD. Rather than humbling himself and repenting, Asa becomes angry and imprisons the seer. Furthermore, when he is infected by a disease in his feet, he does not seek the LORD but depends only on doctors. Asa’s early devotion to God and past successes do not guarantee a good ending. Let us all safeguard our hearts so that we do not drift away from total commitment to the Lord.

We are all prone to wander away from the ways of the Lord. What can you do to protect your heart from growing cold and drifting from God?

🙏 Prayer

Intercede Together

The World
In much of Europe, more than half of all children are born into single parent families, a trend which is increasing steadily across the world. Pray that those who feel abandoned or alone may find family and community within the church. Pray that believers would reach out first and serve those in need of helping hands.

The Unreached
The Romani are a group of traditionally itinerant people who mainly live in Europe. They have been subject to discrimination throughout their history. Many Romani communities remain closed to outside influence. Pray that believers would reach out to them with the love of Christ and for genuine friendships to be formed.

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