Diet Devotional 16
2 Chron 26:5 - "He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear (some manuscripts say "vision") of God. as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success."
The entire second half of 2 Chronicles is devoted to outlining the rise and fall of the kings of Judah, and some of their encounters with the kinds of Israel. For those not familiar with Old Testament history, the kingdom of Israel originally started as 12 tribes (named after the descendants of the 12 sons of the patriarch Jacob). But along the way, the groups split up into two camps. These two groups (though each tribe held it's autonomy under under the heading of the larger groups) were referred to as the tribes of Judah and the tribes of Israel. I believe the division came over the controversy of who would be king, but don't quote me on that. Anyway, in the end, the tribes of Judah rebelled far too often and were eventually dissolved and absorbed into the cultures around them. Only the tribe of Israel remained. So, 2 Chronicles outlines the rise and fall of kings within the tribe of Judah primarily.
It is fascinating to read these accounts. As the verse above exemplifies, there is almost a direct parallel between their faith and their success. As long as the kings sought after God, they would succeed and be blessed. Whenever they rebelled or worshiped false gods, they would be defeated and overrun by the locals. With each generations's leadership, the group would rise or fall according to the new king's standards. In these passages, God blatantly shows his faithfulness to those who seek him. It's almost black and white. With the rebels, he left them alone, allowing their actions to take their natural course to self-destruction. But with the faithful, he protected them and redirected the course of their lives accordingly.
Yesterday, I had a horrible day with my daughter. We have been fighting for about 5 days straight and I'd had it. I had a pint of ice cream in mind for the evening. :) I decided to pray first, before indulging. I wanted to see what God would do and give him an opportunity to work in my life. He did. Almost miraculously, my daughter and I slipped into fun mode. She became extremely playful and positive, almost without warning. The final 2 hours of my evening were spent in joyful play. Amazing... I have to say that I still had the ice cream. But, it wasn't out of desperation, as a fix to my evening. It was because I had been thinking about it all day and geared myself up for it. The difference was that I didn't experience any guilt over it, because I had allowed God to solve my problem. Perhaps next time, I will forego the ice cream as a treat. But this is where I am today. I feel that though it wasn't the perfect ending, it was a step in the right direction. I now that in time, as I seek God, he will give me success.