Second Chronicles 16 Commentary
In chapter 14, when Zerah the Cushite attacked Judah, King Asa prayed: “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” And we loved Asa for this prayer. Zerah’s mighty army of one million foot soldiers and 300 chariots was defeated.
It was a battle of Judah’s 580,000 foot soldiers against Zerah’s 1,000,000 foot soldiers with 300 chariots. It was a miracle.
Now here in chapter 16, and after some 30 plus years, King Asa has another battle. King Baasha of the sister kingdom of Israel has attacked. Instead of Asa seeking the face of the LORD, he used his money to buy favor and support from Aram. Two stupid sister kingdoms fighting each other and Judah seeking support from a nation that needed to be regarded as a common enemy.
The LORD is not happy with King Asa and we hear these words: “You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
Asa’s spiritual decline is saddening. Things like this shouldn’t happen. What has happened to a soul that once feared the name of the LORD? Could it be complacency or a matter of pride? It is difficult to tell. But we can guess pride was always part of the problem. He thought of himself as being too wise to be accused of acting foolishly. The prophet paid for his boldness with a prison sentence.
How do you react when the LORD sends a word of encouragement? And, how do you react when the same LORD sends a word of strong rebuke, regardless of the messenger? How do you react when you are told that you are wrong? If one cares, it is actually easy to measure one’s pride levels.
There is no better time to watch your pride level than when the LORD has blessed you. The blessing can easily become a curse for many saints. Our actions, our thoughts, and our feelings against those we feel are less blessed than us, are actually a measure of humility before the LORD.
A bribe may work as it did for Asa; but is the LORD happy?
What should the saint do? Do nothing even when you can pay off the problem? The real question is pride, lack of trust in the LORD’s provision, and a lack of humility. The Christian walk is harder for the rich man. We all agree.
Yet we should be looking at someone who, though owning everything, decided to be born in poverty. The Creator decided to stand trial before the created. The Almighty decided to take orders from the mortals. Humility is a possibility that the saint can bask in. While King Asa showed us a very bad example never to be emulated, the LORD Jesus, the real son of David, has shown us the way. And importantly, he has given us the power, by His Spirit, to do what Asa failed to do.
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