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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

May 14, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: II Chronicles 13-17

 

II Chronicles 16:9

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

 

What happened to Asa? We may never know, but we do know this, there was a great change in this third king of Judah. Just two chapters before (14) his great prayer to God is recorded. He was in between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.”  Zerah, the Ethiopian leader, came against Judah with a one-million-man army (a thousand thousand) and three hundred chariots. Judah only had a total of five hundred and sixty thousand. They were greatly outnumbered. In this predicament Asa prayed to God. He said … Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. (II Chronicles 14:11)

 

The Lord heard that prayer and smote the Ethiopians so that they fled from Judah. Not only this, Asa also led Judah in a great revival of hearing and obeying God’s Word and even deposed Maacah from being queen because of her idolatry. For the first thirty-six years of his forty-one-year reign as king of Judah, Asa was a wonderful example to the nation.

 

But in the thirty sixth year something changed. He enlisted Ben-hadad, king of Syria to defeat Israel whose king at the time was Baasha. Instead of trusting in God, Asa trusted in Ben-hadad. Then upon being diseased in his feet he trusted in the physicians instead of trusting in God. Something happened. We know not what.

 

But this is an all-too-common occurrence. For a time, a person may trust in God, then turn from Him to put their trust in themselves or others. The promise of today’s verse is precious; His eyes are everywhere, and He desires to show Himself strong to His faithful followers. Too often, though, His followers become unfaithful and do foolish things. Because of this they limit the Holy One of Israel from being their strength.

 

Asa had ample warning, but he put Hanani the prophet of God in prison and began to oppress others as well. Something happened. Asa turned from God. For thirty-six years he was faithful, but in the last five years of his life and reign he turned away. He died unrepentant. How could this happen to a man whom God blessed so mightily for so long? We don’t know, can’t know, but this we do know… it happens far too often.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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