Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment. He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him. And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the Lord had given him rest. Therefore, he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah who carried shields and spears, and from Benjamin two hundred and eighty thousand men who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty men of valor. Then Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. So Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 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!” So the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the Lord and His army. And they carried away very much spoil. Then they defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord came upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them. They also attacked the livestock enclosures, and carried off sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 14:2-15)
Defeating An Army Of One Million Men
The largest army in the present-day world is China, boasting an army of 1.6 million troops. India has the second-largest military with a population of 1.2 million, followed by the United States with a combined number of active-duty, reserve, and National Guard members at one million. A little over eight hundred years before Christ, Ethiopia came against Asa, king of Judah, with an army numbering one million men. When Asa heard of the approaching army of Ethiopia, his heart must have felt an overwhelming crush of fear at fighting against a seemingly impossible foe. The army of Judah only numbered 300,000 men who carried shields and spears, with an additional army of 280,000 from Benjamin. The odds were 2-1 at best, to say nothing of the three hundred chariots of the Ethiopians.
Asa did not flinch, and he did not cower inside Jerusalem. The king of Judah took his army into the Valley of Zephathath at Mareshah and set his troops in battle array. The Ethiopian king came with a million soldiers, and Asa came with the Lord God Almighty. Asa’s prayer is a powerful declaration of faith and trust in the power of the Lord to do the impossible. The king knew that God would help His people. History was filled with the victories of the Israelites over incredible odds, including the defeat of Egypt many generations before with Moses. Asa knew that God had not forsaken His people. As a godly king, Asa had sought to turn the remaining remnant of Israel back to serving the one true God. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and observe the law and the commandment. Asa trusted in the power of God to over a million-man army.
God had the power to win a battle with an army of 580,000 men or one young man in the Valley of Elah. The Lord had shown through King David that one man standing alone with God could defeat all the Goliaths of the world. When the Ethiopians came against Asa, he was the David and Ethiopia the Goliath. Asa knew that God could defeat any army, whether with many or those with no power. His faith is remarkable. There was no doubt or fear in the heart of Asa. He stood before the Ethiopian army with full assurance that victory would be given. The prayer of Asa put all confidence in the power of God. Godly people rest their faith on the will of the Lord and in His name. With a shout of defiance against the million-man army of Ethiopia, Asa cried out, “O Lord, You are our God: do not let man prevail against You.” And it was done. The Ethiopians were completely defeated, overthrown, and they could not recover.
There is a greater foe standing before the child of God. Paul describes the enemy beyond the terms of one million men when he writes about the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, and the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places that defy the will of God. Satan leads the charge against the people of the Lord. One child of God who kneels in prayer can defeat the vast army of the devil. A life filled with the word of God can destroy the influence of the hosts of wickedness. Death is no longer feared by the people of God through Christ, who overcame death and gave the victory to His disciples. Every Christian should pray the prayer of Asa, who believed in the overwhelming power of God to win the victory against insurmountable odds. One man standing alone with God is the greatest army in the world. Bring it on, Satan.