When we face adversity and battle, why are we not going to God? Why do we rely on human strength instead? Turn to the one who can calm storms and command waves and wind with his voice. May God and only God be your strength in everything you face today!
11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”
1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
2 Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 3 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8 Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.
2Chronicles 16:1-3, 7-10
King Asa was our great example back in chapter 14 when he was leading his people to trust only in God for their strength and support in their battles. That was ten years into his reign as king.
Sixteen years later, Asa faced a threat from the north, and although we expect him to rely on God and live up to the faithfulness we saw in chapter 14, Asa has been distracted since then. This time, he gives silver and gold from the treasuries of the Lord’s temple to a neighbouring king to ask him for military support. This time Asa didn’t go to God.
Think about this. Asa actually thought of the Lord in his thought-process: he considered that God had enough to help him. Enough strength? Enough love and care for his people? No. Asa knew that God had enough cash in the treasury to use as leverage to find strength from a different source – an ally.
God was right there on the periphery of this story and Asa went to the human well rather than asking God for help.
God confronted Asa through Hanani the Seer and Asa’s consequence was that he would constantly be at war because of his lack of trust in God. God used the very fear that Asa had as the reminder that he didn’t rely of the Lord to save him from it.
As we pursue self-help and the comfort of money and the use of drugs or alcohol for self-medication, why are we not going to God? Why are we not laid out before him as the only true source of strength?
I am reminded of Jairus in Luke 8: he was an authority in the synagogue and when his daughter fell ill, he risked everything to come to Jesus for help. He was likely risking being ostracized by his peers and perhaps the loss of his position to put his faith in Jesus who was this rebel messiah figure… yet Jairus knew where his help would come from.
We often go to the socially acceptable places for help and the human / physical sources of comfort or strength. They are in front of us, yet they pale in contrast the strength and power of God. Turn to the one who can calm storms and command waves and wind with his voice.
May God and only God be your strength.