2 Chronicles 14:11
And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”
2 Chronicles 16:10
Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.
Power and pride can take their toll even on the most devout rulers. Early in his reign, King Asa of Judah faced an enormous Ethiopian army. Outnumbered more that two-to-one, King Asa sought the Lord, and the Lord prevailed against the Ethiopians and inspired the Jews to pursue the enemy and conquer several other cities along the way. Then the Lord brought twenty-five years of peace to Judea.
But after many reforms in his reign, and after much progress in returning Jerusalem to worshiping the Lord, King Asa failed to rely on the Lord God when he faced a much smaller army from Syria. Needless to say, he failed in that campaign, and although Jerusalem didn’t fall, Asa was troubled with war and sickness for the rest of his life.
The two verses above are in stark contrast to each other. In the first, Asa is calling upon the Lord to aid the children of Judah and Benjamin in the face of the million-man army from Ethiopia. And yet a scant twenty-five years later, that same king puts a prophet in prison for reminding the king of that prayer and its result. Is it that Asa had grown in pride as well as power? We don’t know from Scripture, only that Asa had shown great faith and had removed all the foreign idols from his kingdom and commanded the people to return to the laws and sacrifices of the Lord. All we can see here is that King Asa had lost confidence in the Lord, relying instead on assistance from men. And even later, when afflicted with sickness, King Asa still did not turn to God and instead sought ineffective healing from men.
There are many similar stories throughout history, tales of men and women saved by the Lord at one point in their lives, and yet later they didn’t seek His help in lesser battles. Many believers today, having been saved by God from terrible circumstances early in their lives, fail to take lesser things to the Lord. We rely instead on our own resources to face them. And, of course, we fail. Then we wonder what went wrong, and we argue with those who say “I told you so.” Just like King Asa.
Didn’t our Savior remind us not to worry about tomorrow? Didn’t He remind us that God is in charge of even the little things?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Let us put ALL things in God’s capable hands. Let us be like the young King Asa, and rely upon the Lord God to prevail against the schemes of men. Let us seek first the kingdom of God, and KNOW that God is sovereign even in the smaller troubles we face every day. Let us pray: “Help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You.”
Gracious Lord God, I rest on You, and today as I face troubles big and small, I will seek Your face in them all. Help me, O Lord, to trust in Your sovereign will and in Your power, that the battle is never mine but always Yours. Let me teach others, too, what grace and power is bestowed by trusting in Your precious Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.