Asa Chooses to Rely on Syria
King Asa ruled over Judah for 41 years. The first 35 of those years were peaceful under his reign; however, that would quickly come to an end because he chose to rely on human strength and not rely on God’s. The Bible details a couple different times in which he chose to rely on human strength instead of God’s wisdom, strength and ability.
The first incident can be found in 2 Chronicles 16. King Baasha (Israel) was attacking King Asa (Judah) and built a fortified city (“Ramah”) — a siege and blockade so Baasha could control Asa’s land. Instead of consulting God on what to do, he solicits help from Benhadad, king of the Syrian army. He offers Benhadad gold and silver to attack Israel. Because Asa did this, God declared: “You have done foolishly in this; for from now on you will have wars.” To rely on human strength is foolishness! Even after God tells him the direct cause and effect of choosing to rely on the Syrian army for help, Asa still does not repent.
Asa Chooses to Rely on Physicians
The second incident of his foolish decision to rely on human strength rather than relying on God’s can be found in verse 12. It says, “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe; yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.” Again, he sought the help of another person: a physician. Once again, he chose to rely on human strength and not to rely on God’s.
Don’t get me wrong! God uses physicians. There is no doubt in my mind that God has given certain individuals the capacity and the heart to help others in their distress. But how often do we consult the Lord before running to the doctor? God is the Great Physician! He’s the One Who gives doctors their wisdom and skill to begin with. Why not consult Him first?
As we read these stories in the Old Testament, it’s obvious God wants us to rely on Him to help us in our time of need. As the following Scriptures tell us, they were written for us.
- “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4 ESV).
- “These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes” (1 Corinthians 10:11, MSG).
When you are nervous about your finances, do you rely on God’s provision? When you are nervous about your prodigal child, do you rely on God’s power to bring him home? When you are faced with a terminal illness, do you rely on God’s power to heal?
Let’s learn the lesson God wants to teach us through King Asa’s example.
We can start out well in our walk, but really we need to finish well. We do that by continually choosing to rely on Him and not ourselves or anyone else. He may choose to use someone else, but our first response should be to rely on Him first and foremost.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).