Sunday, June 15, 2014
Help for All
2Chr. 14:11 Asa cried to the LORD his God, “O LORD, there is no difference for you between helping the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God; let no mortal prevail against you.”
Asa was about to lead the people of Judah into battle. Zerah the Ethiopian had come out to attack him with a million men and three hundred chariots. The odds were stacked against Asa and his army, who had just under six hundred thousand men made up of individuals from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. They had no chariots.
As Asa faced the enemy, who wished to destroy them, he cried out to the LORD. In the world’s estimation, Asa and his men were weak. Why would God want to support the weaker of the two teams? Asa knew that the God he served did not play by the world’s rules. Instead, he knew that he, the weaker, could call upon the LORD to help him. His prayer helps us see that Asa understood that those who relied upon God had power that the world would never see. God’s help is available for all of those who call upon his name and no human or mortal, no matter how powerful or wealthy, can prevail against him.
Why would God want to be on the side of, what appeared to be, the losing team? Because God doesn’t look at circumstances the same way that we do! As a matter of fact, I’m not sure that God looks much at the circumstances, but instead, looks at the heart. What is the motivation that God sees in the hearts of individuals? He sees whether there is a heart that is turned toward him, one that relies on him!
The problem with Asa and God’s people was that they were not always consistently dependent upon him, nor did they always call upon him. By now Israel was divided into two kingdoms because the people of God could not keep their focus. There had been good leaders and bad leaders. Sometimes they looked to God and sometimes they simply tried to do everything that they could on their own. However, this leader, Asa, called the people back to God. He tore down the idols that had been made and brought the focus back to their God who had rescued them and brought them out of Egypt. In this moment Asa chooses to call upon God for he has come to know that God helps the weak and/or the strong, as long as their hearts are inclined toward him.
After Asa called on the name of the Lord the battle began and God struck down the enemy. It was an amazing victory.
When facing enemies or challenges in life that seem larger than we can face, God comes along and reminds us that he doesn’t pick and choose winners by human standards. When we are tempted to think that human strategic planning will give us the answer, (in Asa’s case that would have been tough) we are to rely upon God, for it is in our weaknesses that his strength is revealed. God loves us and wants to be with us in the midst of the challenges that we face. The victory may not always come in the way that we would like, but God goes with us.
When we are tempted to be overwhelmed by the challenges we face, may we remember that in God’s economy there is no difference between the mighty and the weak. I praise God that in my weakness, he is strong.
Lord, may I rely upon you in all the challenges of life which I must face. Amen.