2Ch 16:7-9 … 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 … 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…”
Asa was the third King to rule Judah, after Israel had divided into two countries and he was a king who was faithful to God. 10 years after the start of his reign, the country was threatened by a much larger army and he called upon the Lord for help. His smaller army successfully defeated this much larger army with God’s help. After this experience, God was even more the center of all Asa did in the country. For the next 25 years there was peace, but then the King of the other half of Israel decided to attack Judah. Instead of turning to God for help, Asa sends a payment to the King of Syria requesting he should attack the Northern kingdom from the opposite side, in order to draw away their attack from Judah. This plan was successful, but it had one great failing as described by Hanani in our brief scripture extract, above
It is worth pondering what might have happened to Asa in the 25 years since his kingdom had last been threatened. Had his heart grown cold towards God, or did he come believe that with the experience he had gained over the years, he could solve his own problems without relying on God? We aren’t told exactly what happened, but he chose to rely on his own talents and abilities to deliver him from this difficulty, rather seek for God to deliver the nation. Hanani’s judgment on this decision is harsh!
One of the many temptations we face, is to believe that we can accomplish things without God’s help. We can develop an attitude that says with our intellect, cunning, scheming and other abilities, we can solve the problems we face, big or small without needing to trouble God. Sadly, as we see from the story above, we may achieve some level of success. But the long-term effect can be much more detrimental to our well-being, as it separates us from the Lord and consequently, we will not move in the blessing of the Lord anymore. This independence from God that ultimately leads to pride, and as Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Pro 16:18)
Let us constantly remind ourselves, that whatever issues we face in life, whether small or large, the first place we should seek for counsel and help is at the throne of God. He has the answers for all issues that we face, and so often His solutions will surprise us. Let us never hear that fateful comment, “In this you have done foolishly!”