And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 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. Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign. They buried him in his own tomb, which he had made for himself in the City of David; and they laid him in the bed which was filled with spices and various ingredients prepared in a mixture of ointments. They made a very great burning for him. (2 Chronicles 16:7-14)
Who Do You Rely On
The scale of war in the days of Asa, king of Judah was incredible. Asa had an army of three hundred thousand soldiers from Judah and two hundred and eighty thousand men of valor from Benjamin. Zerah the Ethiopian came out against Asa with an army of a million men with three hundred chariots and was defeated by the king of Judah. The victory was not because of the shrewd military wisdom of Asa but the power of the Lord. Asa was one of the few good kings in Judah. He implemented many reforms that steered the people back to the Lord. It was in the thirty-sixth year of his reign he made a fatal decision. Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and created a land block against Judah. Asa made a treaty with Ben-Hadad king of Syria to align against Baasha which was successful.
Hanani the seer came to Asa telling him that because he relied on a foreign king rather than the Lord, the rest of his reign would be filled with wars. Asa seemed to have forgotten the powerful victory over an army twice as big as his own when fighting the Egyptians. He had told the Lord it was nothing for God to destroy his enemies. Why he chose to seek help from Ben-Hadad is not known but he decided not to rely on God for help. Hanani reminded Asa the Lord is always looking for those who would rely on Him so that He could deliver them. God stands vigil to offer victory to those who need his help. A loyal and trusting heart would first seek deliverance by the hand of God.
The eyes of the Lord continue to run to and fro throughout the whole earth seeking hearts that are loyal and waiting for the power of God to act. His power is still active. The will of the Lord can still be accomplished through the hearts of loyal servants who trust in His power to deliver. Paul would later tell the Corinthians saints God will always – emphasize always – make a way of escape for His people. There is nothing the child of God lacks when it comes to the power of overcoming. The Lord God will not put on us more than we can handle reminding us that whatever comes upon us we can overcome. The army of the Lord stands ready to fight for us.
It is easy to trust in man more than God. Asa decided to trust in his own wisdom seeking help from Ben-Hadad. It was the wrong decision. God will always deliver. What a difference it would have been if once more he would have trusted the Lord as he did against the Egyptians. Whatever trials or tribulations are experienced in life must be faced with the assurance that with God’s help we can overcome. It may not stop the consequences of what oppresses us but the victory is found in knowing God will be the deliverer. The answers of God are always the right answers. He has never lost a battle. His will has changed the face of the earth and can change our lives if we but let His way be the only way we will follow. Relying on human wisdom will bring sorrow. Having reliance for the power of God will bring untold blessings. All scripture is given to us so that we will know the power and wisdom that is eternal. Now that is a great story.
Modern man wouldn’t live with God; now he can’t live with himself. (Stanley Jones, Conversation, 1959)