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Then Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord heard his prayer, for he could see how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. 2 Kings 13:4 (NLT)

Someone once said, “When a plane is crashing, everyone believes in God!” There is some truth to that, even among those of us that are followers of Jesus Christ. We may let our prayer life slide and let the dust gather on our Bibles while we skip church for a few extra minutes of sleep. Then, when illness attacks, a job is lost, a relationship goes south, or any other crisis happens we begin to think about God.

That attitude isn’t a new. Jehoahaz was a King of Israel during Old Testament times. Israel had many kings. Some were righteous leader’s intent on following the laws of Jehovah God. Others led the nation down the path of idolatry and rebellion. They were more interested in personal gain and power than they were following God. Time and time again God would have to send enemy kings to discipline His people though exile, or captivity.

Jehoahaz did evil in the eyes of the Lord by leading the people in the worship of calves and idols rather than worshiping the true God. As a result of his evil ways God allowed an enemy king to harass and control the people of Israel.

In the midst of this Jehoahaz finally turned his eyes to heaven and prayed for deliverance. God heard his prayer and delivered his people because Jehoahaz prayed to him. The prayers of Jehoahaz were not heard because he repented of his sin or because he was righteous. He finally turned to God because the calves that he worshipped weren’t working. He turned to the one source of power he knew he could count on, Jehovah God! God delivered his people because of who God was and His promises to Abraham and David.

The same is true today. We are not forgiven because we’ve cleaned up our lives, or because we’ve made a bunch of good things happen around us. We are forgiven purely because of Jesus. You don’t have to do a bunch of ‘things’ to gain God’s favor. You have to ask and believe!

Even though God delivered His people from the enemy they refused to give up the worship of their idols. They still offered sacrifice to the calves in the backyard. As a result, Jehoahaz and his kingdom never enjoyed the full blessings of what God had in store for them.

The God of heaven is ready and willing to extend His grace and forgiveness to us time after time. His grace is free and unlimited for all who believe. But God also desires to shower us with His blessings. God’s blessings come to us as we grow in relationship to Him and learn to follow His ways. If we are like Jehoahaz and keep our calves hidden in the backyard we will never fully experience the blessings He has in store for us.

PRAYER: Holy God, I thank you today for the grace and forgiveness I have received through Jesus Christ. I acknowledge that you are the creator, sustainer of the universe. I confess that there are still some idols hidden in my backyard. I ask that through the power of your Holy Spirit those idols would be revealed to me. Empower me to remove them once and for all from my life so I can experience all the blessings you have for me. Amen.

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