Fortified Cities for the King of Peace
Asa built fortified cities in Judah, because the land was undisturbed;
and during those years no one made war with him, because the LORD had given him rest.
(2 Chronicles 14:6)
Asa—a good king who sought and served the LORD—enjoyed peace. Though he stumbled towards the end of his life, it is written of him that he had a heart like the heart of his father David. He trusted the Lord, tore down high places, won (rare) battles, used only the God-approved weapons of war, built fortified cities, filled them with riches and booty, and brought prosperity and rest to the land of Judah. In short, God made Asa a king of peace.
Asa is a powerful picture of the one true King of Peace, the exalted Lord Jesus Christ. Having completed his own arduous earthly work of 33 years—always trusting his Father, always using the God-approved weapons of war—Christ ascended above, sat down at God’s right hand, and as the high King of heaven entered his eternal rest. In short, God made Christ THE King of Peace!
But what is the King of Peace doing as he rests? Amazing to say, he’s working! In particular, like Asa, he is building fortified cities: cities with mighty walls, tall towers, thick gates, and heavy bars; secure cities loaded with food and drink and the treasures of war.
But what exactly are these cities? According to the NT, they are you and me and all who now live in Immanuel’s Land. Yes, Christ is much at work in many ways to root and ground and build up and establish his people in their most holy faith. His people are his fortified cities. The treasures with which he fills them are his truth and his Spirit and his glory. And the land in which they are found is the heavenly Judah: a land filled with praise and rejoicing and glorying in God, all because of the all-sufficient work of Christ.
But we ourselves have a role to play in all of this. To become Christ’s fortified cities, we must live like the Asa of old, and also like the Asa above. We must cast ourselves wholly upon God; we must tear down our idols and high places; we must forbear to use the weapons of Egypt, which fit so comfortably in the hands of the proud and the strong; we must take up the full armor of God, which only fit comfortably in the hands of the weak, the humble, and the dependent.
Will it be easy? No. But is it doable? Yes . . . if only we follow our heavenly Asa day by day, entering into his rest, fighting from his rest, watching him build us up into strong, beautiful, well-beloved cities, cities filled with eternal treasure and ever prospering in a heavenly land of praise.