“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chron. 16:9
I love the lessons found in the narratives of the Old Testament. The time period of the Chronicles and Kings are filled with good examples and bad examples. They are abounding with people who lived for themselves and others who sought to live for the Lord.
King Asa started off pretty good. 2 Chronicles 14:2 describes him like this. “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign alters and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord the God of their fathers and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense alters in every town in Judah and the kingdom was at peace under him.”
Asa also had a gret army of 300,000 men from Judah and 280,000 from Benjamin. These men were equipped with spears and shields and were brave, fighting men (2 Chron. 14:8). In Asa’s fight against the Cushites, though he had such a vast army, he didn’t rely on them, instead King Asa relied upon his God. He prayed and asked the Lord to help him and to fight against the enemy for him (v11). For he knew he and his men were nothing apart from God. The Bible says in 2 Chron. 14:12-14, that “the Lord struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah…..because the terror of the Lord had fallen upon them.’
King Asa was a man committed to the Lord and to serving him. In fact the Lord gave him peace for 35 years under his reign (15:19). BUT, in the 36th year of King Asa’s reign, Baasha the king of Israel went up against Judah and prevented people from leaving or entering the territory of Asa. Instead of praying and seeking the Lord’s help. The Bible tells us that Asa took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and his palace and sent them to the king of Aram, who was ruling Damascus (16:2-3). He asked that they make a treaty and that he break his treaty with King Baasha. King Ben-Hadad agreed and King Bashan ceased his work on Ramah,
Well, it seems King Asa got what he wanted right! Yet, at what cost? For the Bible tells us that Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God…….. that from now on he would be at war (v7-9).”
The Lord had given King Asa victory before, yet years later, he has forgotten the deliverance of the Lord and turned to himself and others for help instead of His God. No longer did King Asa have a heart that was fully committed to the Lord, instead he turned away from Him.
As I read this today, the Lord in His still small voice asked me, “Am I fully committed to him?” “Will I rely on Him or myself?” He brought conviction on my heart as I thought about how I had been wanting to help Him out. How I tend to want to rely on myself and be in control.
Right now we are at a standstill. We are waiting to see what happens next. Waiting and waiting which are entirely not fun. And the Lord wants to know, am I committed to Him, will I wait on Him, will I rely on Him?
What about you? What are you fully committed to? Are you committed completely to the Lord and His plans for your life? This is His desire for you. He cares not about what you can do for Him, what He cares about is your committment to Him and transforming you into His image.
King Asa became angry and until the day he died, never repented or sought after the Lord again. What a tragedy!!! We must have hearts committed to our Lord in the good and the bad and we must rely on Him completely for the help of man is useless. The Lord will strengthen the hearts of those who are truly seeking and relying on Him.