Asa seemed to be a pretty good king for the people of Judah in 2 Chronicles 14. His first action was to bring the people back to God, and God rewarded him by giving the people a time of peace. Then, he made the intelligent decision to invest in infrastructure. He knew that God blessed them, so he made sure that he was helping the people of Judah.
However, war finally did return when the Ethiopian army came marching north. This is the part that I want to highlight because I love how Asa prays before battle.
2Ch 14:11 And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
He recognized one of the most seemingly obvious yet difficult truths of the Bible. God is so great that it takes virtually no effort for Him to help us out. However, His help is what really makes the difference. It is kind of interesting because it really puts the power of God into perspective even if it is somewhat hard to grasp.
I think that the most important thing that we can take away from this realization is that we first of all need to be in communication with God. If we truly rely on Him, we need to make sure that we are in line with his will.
Asa was willing to recognize that he needed God and could not rely on his own strength. The sooner we come to that realization, the easier everything else will become. We won’t need to worry if we know that everything is resting on God.
I know that this is a theme that I like to bring up a lot, but in 2 Chronicles 13, we see a battle between Judah and Israel. Judah ended up winning, and there is a pretty blatant reason why.
2Ch 13:18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.
Judah relied on God whereas Israel relied on other gods. One worked, and one didn’t.
We saw this with Elijah when he dominated the competition against the prophets of Baal. Elijah relied on God, and God was faithful.
We even saw this in the life of David. He spent his entire life relying on God, and he was able to avoid capture by Saul. He relied on God even before that and was able to take down the giant.
Relying on God works. Nevertheless, it is not always easy.
Sometimes, doubt creeps in. It is easy to wonder if God is really going to come through. I think about Thomas. He did not believe the resurrection really happened until he saw Jesus in person. That event had been prophesied, so you would think that Thomas would not have had a lot of difficulty in believing that it would happen.
Doubt is powerful.
If you find yourself caught up in doubt, I hope that you will be able to find the Truth that you need. I don’t know what specifically brings about your doubt, but there are plenty of resources out there. If you doubt that the Bible is even an accurate document, there are resources for that. If you doubt that God is really good, there are resources for that. (The Bible is your best resource, but there are other books that can guide your reading to your specific question).
Don’t be afraid of knowledge. If you have any type of doubt, I encourage you to work it out and try to find the answer you are seeking. I think that if you do this honestly, you will be brought right back to a reliance on God which is a good place to be.
In Exodus chapter 16, I thought that there is a very interesting parallel between the children of Israel collecting manna and the Feeding of the 5000.
Let me start with the passage from Exodus.
Exo 16:16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
Exo 16:17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
Exo 16:18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
Of course, people are not necessarily identical, so when people gathered in different amounts of manna, nobody was lacking. Everyone was satisfied with the outcome.
Similarly, when Jesus performed His miracle and fed 5000 people, everyone was satisfied.
Mat 14:17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
Mat 14:18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
Mat 14:19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
Mat 14:20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
Mat 14:21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
I think that what we can draw from these two stories is that God provides for people. In fact, when we have taken the time that we should and really realize everything that God has provided us with, we can be satisfied.
If we try to be entirely satisfied with all of this stuff that we can purchase in the store, we’re definitely going to be disappointed. All of our earthly possessions are limited. However, we are given the assurance that the things of God will bring the satisfaction.
Psa 145:16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
Psa 81:10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Overall, when we rely on God, we can be satisfied. It is important to remember that satisfaction is one of those things without we cannot provide by ourselves. God is the giver of that gift.
This post could easily be an extension of yesterday because the same themes continue. A plague came, Pharaoh asked Moses and Aaron to talk to God and ask him to remove the plague, Moses and Aaron asked, God did it and Pharaoh went back to the way he was before.
However, rather than write the same post all over again, let me take Exodus chapter 9 a different way.
Exo 9:8 And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
Exo 9:9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
Exo 9:11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
Exo 9:12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.
In verse 11, it becomes obvious that the magicians are overwhelmed. Previously, they were able to imitate some of the powers that God presented through Moses. However, at this point, the magicians aren’t even able to come out and try to match this plague because they are in too much pain themselves.
I think that this is kind of thing happens to us from time to time. Like the magicians, we think that we can do some things on our own. We think that we can work harder to come to the destination that we want. We mistake some of the things that have happened in our lives as our doing rather than God’s doing.
Then, we come to the point where there’s nothing left that we can do. Our own power has failed us, and we need to rely on God. In this case, the magicians need to wait for God to remove the plague because they obviously could not do it themselves.
That is easier said than done, but it really is what we need to do.
Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Jer 17:6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
Jer 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
We need to be careful that we are putting God where He belongs in our lives which is right at the top. We need to lean on His strength and be used for His purposes rather than in our own power.