By Mike Grushon
King Asa of Judah was generally a good king. Throughout his life, he had done much to return Judah to faithfulness to God. Yet there stands in the Biblical record of his life’s achievements one monumental mistake. In 2 Chronicles 16:1-10, we can read of this incident in his life. Basically, Asa’s mistake was that he used the silver and gold of King Benhadad’s assistance against Baasha the king of Israel. Hanani the seer communicated the Lord’s displeasure with Asa’s actions, saying, “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 out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand” (2 Chr. 16:7-8). Asa had trusted in the strength of military alliance rather than in the strength of his Lord.
Hanani pointed out to Asa a principle that everyone of us needs to take to heart. He said, “For the eyes of the Lord trove to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chr. 16:9). Asa’s failing had been that he was not totally dedicated to the Lord. When he was confronted with a crisis, his thought turned to help from other men rather than from His God. If Asa would have relied upon God and given himself completely to God, he would have avoided the problems that beset him the rest of his life. Asa’s failing was that his heart did not totally belong to God.
It seems to me that this incident in the life of Asa and the admonition it prompted from God’s prophet should be of profit to each one of us. The principle laid down by Hanani still holds true. The Lord still strongly supports those who have completely given their heart to Him. How many of the predicaments that we often find ourselves in are caused by our shortsighted reliance upon human solutions? How many of us only think of God when we have gotten in over our heads in some difficulty? It is no secret that Christians have business problems, family problems, bills, tragedies and sickness just like all other human beings. But the real tragedy is when Christians approach these problems no differently than those of the world. Asa approached his problem like most kings would, he sought a favorable alliance but the temple treasury to buy that was not acceptable because he was not just any king, he was God’s king, over God’s people. Christians should not approach their problems like everyone else because we are different, we are God’s people.
We need to have a heart that is completely God’s. That means that: (1) Our lives are given to putting God first. And, (2) That we rely upon God for strength in our times of need. We place our confidence in His ability to provide our needs. A heart that is completely God’s does not involve sinless perfection or perfect performance. We only have to look at the life of another king of God’s people, David, to see that. David had the type of heart that God wanted but he was not sinless. However even when David sinned, he relied upon the Lord as the only solution to the problem of his sin. That is the meaning of being completely God’s. Asa was a good king but he failed when he did not completely rely upon God. Let us see the difference between David’s heart and Asa’s heart and develop one like David’s.
Truth Magazine XXII: 48, p. 774
December 7, 1978