Don’t waste the blessings of life
2 Chronicles 14: While we have the chance and the land is quiet, let’s build a solid defense system.
Asa’s one of the good guys to lead Judah. He enjoys 10 years of peace in the early part of his reign and he takes full advantage of it. Now only does he clean house, getting rid of the idols, etc. that have crept into his kingdom he also persuades his subjects to join him in fortifying the major cities of Judah. Any nation should be thankful for 10 years of peace. After all, peace is an all too rare national condition. Sorry to say but history proves that the “war to end all wars” is yet to be fought. So even when peace is achieved and we’re tempted to dismantle our defenses and focus on other things, reality calls us to take advantage of the current situation by preparing for whatever comes next. Not only is this true on the national scale, it’s true of our individual lives as well. Life has both good and bad days. When things are going well we need to be careful we don’t foolishly act as though hard times are gone forever. Most certainly they aren’t. On one hand, I want to enjoy the good things that come to me. I want to look toward heaven and say a sincere word of thanks and live as though I really appreciate the blessings that come. On the other hand, I want to be aware that life won’t always be easy. As much as I’m able I want to prepare for the day when it’ll be my turn to experience some of the hardship of life. Asa’s a good king because he doesn’t “waste the peace.” From a personal point of view, I don’t want to “waste the blessings” either.
Take Away: Live wisely.
Passing the vision along
1 Chronicles 22: I wanted in the worst way to build a sanctuary to honor my God. But God prevented me.
It was years earlier that David envisioned building a great House of Worship. The Lord blessed David for having that vision but he told David, “no.” David obediently yielded but the vision never faded. Now, late in his life David begins stockpiling materials for the great Temple project. There’s now a huge store of gold and silver and other precious building materials. David has also identified gifted stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and artisans. He’s still on the throne but he’s preparing for the day when his son Solomon ascends to leadership in Israel. The King has a father-son chat with his son, expressing his great disappointment in not being allowed to build the Temple, but also describing for Solomon all the preparations he’s made for its construction. Obviously, David wants Solomon to be infected with his vision. Worthwhile visions are, indeed, infectious. My enthusiasm is passed on to others who may actually accomplish more with it than I ever could. Also, David’s preparation efforts did a lot to assure that it would come to pass. David did more than dream of a Temple; he also did everything he could to prepare for its construction. Without that key ingredient all we have is good intentions. Visionary thinking includes not only thinking big, it includes real life preparation, and an intentional effort at vision casting.
Take Away: All the vision in the world is worthless without real life application.