Many years after the miraculous deliverance from the Ethiopian army of one million men, King Asa and Judah were again confronted by an army. This time it was the army of the northern kingdom, Israel. Remember Asa’s humble prayer, recognizing that he was helpless without the LORD and His strength? Unfortunately, as Asa had grown older, he had come to depend on himself and not the LORD.
King Asa sent gifts, taken from the treasuries of the Temple, to King Ben-hadad of Aram, “saying, ‘Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.'” ~ 2 Chronicles 16:3
God sent a messenger to Asa…
“At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, ‘Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram 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. For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.’ Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him for this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time.” ~ 2 Chronicles 16:7-10
How very sad. When confronted with his sin, instead of recognizing his error and repenting, Asa became angry. He not only threw Hanani in prison, he also took out his anger on his people.
I fear that sometimes I, too, forget the wonders God has done in my own life, and I turn to people for help when a problem arises. And while the Bible does tell us to seek wise counsel (see the book of Proverbs!), and it is a good thing indeed to have friends you can rely on, we should always seek God’s help first.
What a different response we see from David, when Nathan the prophet is sent by God to confront the king about his sin with Bathsheba. Instead of becoming defensive and angry, he confessed immediately.
“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.'” ~ 2 Samuel 12:13
David had some pretty severe consequences to face because of his sin with Bathsheba, but God did not forsake him. He was forgiven. And remember, God called David a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” I pray that my heart will wholeheartedly belong to God, always and forever.