PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• This morning, let’s talk about King Asa.
He was a king who worshipped God wholeheartedly and encouraged all of Judah to as well.
He had faith in the one and only living God.
After a decade of peace, King Asa and the people of Judah were attacked by an Ethiopian army that was one million strong.
When compared to their own forces, King Asa was significantly outnumbered as the enemy had almost twice the number of soldiers he did (2 Chronicles 14:2-10).
Then King Asa did what we should all do in times of crisis…
Verse 11 says, “Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, ‘O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!’”
His prayer exhibited complete faith and dependence on God.
King Asa knew they could not win the battle; but He trusted God was bigger than his enemy.
As Christians, I think we all know this.
We all know that we are incapable of fixing the challenges we face apart from God, and we embrace verses that remind us of this truth (a favorite for many being Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”)
Going back to King Asa, God heard his prayer and gave the king victory when all the odds were stacked against him.
Proof that for God, there is no challenge too big for Him to handle.
But let’s flash forward a few years when King Asa was attacked again… this time by King Baasha of Israel (2 Chronicles 16:1).
This time, King Asa forgot to turn to God.
Instead, he turned to King Ben-hadad of Aram.
In 2 Chronicles 16:3, King Asa sent a note that said, “Let there be a treaty between you and me like the one between your father and my father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone.”
His faith in God wavered and King Asa turned his dependence to another man to avoid war.
As we all know, hindsight is always 20/20, but when you look at a situation like this, don’t you wonder, “C’mon! What were you thinking?? What happened to your faith?”
But how often do we do the same thing?
We pray to God for help and He helps… but the next time, we try to handle things ourselves without seeking His guidance.
That’s why ongoing prayer is so essential (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
We need that running, ongoing dialogue with God, as well as a strong familiarity and knowledge of His word (Isaiah 40:8, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and Hebrews 4:12).
Prayer, Scripture, and faith are a great and powerful combination!
King Asa paid a price for his failure to turn to God.
When we pick back up at 2 Chronicles 17:7 and 9, it says, “At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, ‘Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.’”
Most unfortunately, King Asa failed to humble himself at this news.
He died without returning to the incredible trust and dependence in God that he demonstrated early in his reign.
Our lesson in this is to remember what God does for us.
Gratitude for all the ways He’s come through for us and provided goes a long way and helps build trust and strong memories.
Today, as you pray, give praise to our Lord for whom no situation is too big or overwhelming.
Ask the Holy Spirit for unwavering faith that you will remember to be dependent upon God every time and in all things.