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May 14 Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 12-15
“A Covenant of Salt
2 Chronicles 13:5
Every sacrifice was to be salted with salt (Mark 9:49). The covenant of salt was a covenant made with a sacrifice. David, speaking prophetically with an eye to Christ, describes God’s saints gathered to him in faith by the Spirit of God as “those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice” (Psalm 50:5). Abijah stood on Mt. Zemaraim and declared “that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom to David (Christ) forever by a covenant of salt.” God gave his church, his kingdom, all the hosts of his elect, to Christ by an everlasting covenant of grace. He did this through Christ’s sacrifice, by which we were made his from eternity, as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. It is precious to see our Savior and his salvation portrayed in the general circumstances of his people in the remote history recorded in these Chronicles.
How many, like Rehoboam, fill up their place in history in vanity! The sum total of their lives is this: they lived, they ate, they drank, and then they died. How sad! Oh, for distinguishing grace to live all our days to the glory of God, to live for Christ, and live to Christ! What can be sweeter and more precious than living in fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ? God, grant that this may be my portion. Let nothing take our hearts from our Savior! In Christ we possess all things. If Christ is ours, we have all and abound, for “Christ is All!” If he is ours, we shall be truly happy and blessed with all true riches in time and to all eternity.
Abijah, Rehoboam’s son, given a name every son of Adam might covet. Abijah means, “Father Jehovah or the Lord is my Father”. Jeroboam had thrown off the worship of God. Making calves for gods and consecrating the basest of men for priests, he led Israel into rebellion and idolatry. Abijah sternly exposed and pointedly denounced Jeroboam’s sin and, in particular, his idolatrous religion. Then he asserted, “As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him…God himself is with us for our Captain.” In the midst of this declaration, King Abijah identified the observance of God’s appointed sacrifice as the distinguishing feature of all true religion. It is faith in Christ, particularly faith in the effectual, sin-atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ that distinguishes true religion from idolatry.
What a great blessing it would be to any nation to have a king, or a president, or a prime minister like good King Asa, the king of Judah! As soon as he ascended to the throne, he began to abolish all the remnants of idolatry, which had crept in during the latter end of his grandfather Solomon’s reign, and reestablished in Judah the worship of the Lord God of Israel. He even removed his mother from being queen, “because she had made an idol.” God the Holy Spirit tells us that “the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.”
God give us grace to follow Asa’s godly example. He preferred God’s honor to his own mother’s pleasure and honor. Love for Christ admits no rivals! Our Savior said, “He that loveth father and mother more than me is not worthy of me.” He who made me, redeemed me, and gives me all grace has the unquestionable right, above all others, to be loved and adhered to by me.
Asa was the king. Asa brought about marvelous reforms in Judah. Asa was the man whose name was known everywhere. But God raised up a prophet by the name of Azariah to teach the king the ways of the Lord his God. — “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Blessed are they to whom God sends a man, called, gifted, and anointed by his Spirit, as the ambassador of Christ to his soul, proclaiming the good news of his free grace in the accomplishment of redemption by Christ Jesus the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17-26:2).