Rely on the Lord


Asa is the next king of Judah. He removes the high places and incense altars and tears down the pillars and Asherim and commands Judah to seek the Lord. God gives the kingdom rest.

It was a time of building. They built fortified cities. It’s a little sad to me because they are building walls, gates, and towers to protect these cities, which is not needed when they are relying on God to save them. It’s a way of relying on themselves.

Except the Lord doesn’t forbid it or knock them for it. Later in the prophets God will mention their “defense” walls. They are nothing when God decides it’s time to take them away.

Eventually war comes to their door. They muster nearly 600,000 valiant men. Ethiopia is the kingdom that comes to fight them, and they show up with a million fighting men. Every single one of the Ethiopians is killed.

Abijah gave a speech declaring their devotion and reliance on God. Asa offers a prayer. “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between 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 not man prevail against you.” (vs. 11 ESV)

When you face a battle, when you see an enemy (not flesh and blood!), do you do it in the name of the Lord, declaring your reliance on Him?

There is a victory in your future. It won’t be because of your strength. The Lord strengthened Judah. He increased their numbers and fortified their cities. Those things were a picture of their power to their enemies. They weren’t so they could defend themselves or rely on themselves.

God’s not out to empower you so you can save yourself in your own strength.

If you want to be strong, you need to humble yourself and acknowledge your weakness. We’re strong in the Lord and in His power, not in our own, even if gifted us from God.

We can acknowledge the gift, but we can never leave the position of humility, acknowledgement, and reliance on God alone.