“Then Zerah, the Ethiopian came out against them…….And Asa cried out to the Lord his God: ‘ …..help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You and in Your Name, we go against this multitude.'”  2 Chronicles 14:11

“…Baasha the king of Israel came up against Judah……Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasury and sent to King of Syria…saying let there be a treaty between you and me…..And at the time Hanani….said to him: ‘ Because you have relied on the King of Syria and have not relied on Lord your God……has escaped from your hand.'”  2 Chronicles 16: 1,2,3,7

It’s tempting isn’t it.  It’s right there, right within our reach.  What’s that you ask?  Help.  So many, many want to help.  Some are sincere, some only are looking for a quick buck from us.  Whatever the circumstances, someone within the world is telling us, guaranteeing to us, that they have the solution, the power to get us out of whatever jam we find ourselves in.  The world has the perfect formula for our success, just don’t turn to anywhere else.

In scripture, 2 Chronicles tells the story of a King of Judah.  His name is Asa.  The people of Israel are split into two kingdoms; Israel and Judah.  The Kingdom of Judah was much smaller than Israel; made up of only three of the twelve tribes.  So the kingdom was vulnerable to invaders.  However, Chronicles tells us that Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord.  Thus it was that an Ethiopian invader came up against Judah with thousands of more men and hundreds of more chariots.  Asa, should have been terrified.  The Kingdom of Judah, to have any chance of survival in this case should have reached out to every other kingdom for help.  Asa did not look around for help, he looked up.  Asa prayed to God; and although scripture tells us that he cried out, it was still with confidence.  In his prayer, Asa proclaims, that it is a small thing for God to come out against the Ethiopians and cause Judah to be victorious.  Asa is correct.  God is on their side and they utterly slaughter the Ethiopians and take great treasures because of the victory.

Fast forward a few years and for whatever reason, Israel comes out to do battle against its own country of brothers; Judah.  In 2 Kings we read that Baasha, the King of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.  Yet for some reason, whether it was because these were fellow Jews, people from different tribes of Israel, their kinsfolk, Asa did not call upon the Lord, God.  Instead he reached out to the King of Syria.  Asa pays the king a great sum from both his own personal treasury and the treasury of the people.  It seems at first that Asa’s plans are shrewd because the King of Syria actually attacks some of Israel’s cities forcing Baasha to stop his siege of Judah and return to his own kingdom.  But the Lord sends a prophet to Asa and tells him because Asa has relied on a worldly solution and did not call upon God; that the Asa would be at war with the kingdoms around Judah, including Syria for the rest of his life.

Here’s the lesson for us Dear Sisters and Brothers, as Hanani, the seer is speaking to Asa the King of Judah, he plainly states: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).  Think of it, right now you or I may be in a predicament that we have no idea how to get out of.  We may be in a place where it seems the whole world is arrayed against us.  Again, at that very time there might be those of world calling out to us with offers of help or we may think back to a time when someone either helped us or someone we know out of a similar jam.  But here’s the thing, we must resist the temptation to call upon them before we call upon the Name of the Lord.  Yes, the Lord, God may bring someone into our lives to help us out.  Yet by calling upon Our Heavenly Father with a loyal heart, we can be confident that He sees exactly where we are and what we need.  The solution that He provides will be perfect and we can be faithfully confident that we are carrying out His Will.

The beauty, the mystery, the wonder of it all is that although God is above all, He is not distant from us.  He is swift to come with His deliverance.  He will stop at nothing to bring about our salvation.  How can we be so sure of that?  Because Our Heavenly Father did not spare even His own Son, Jesus Christ, that we might be eternally saved and brought into a right relationship with Him.  Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has even allowed us to defeat death.  Thus let it be that we know Who to turn to first; where to call.  May it be that we will call upon our Lord, God with a loyal heart and watch Him show Himself strong!

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank and praise Your Most Holy Name that You allow us to call upon You in all times.  Forgive us when we are tempted to look for worldly solutions instead of calling upon Your Name.  Be swift when we repent and call upon Your Holy Name to show Yourself to the world on our behalf.  That through a life lived with a loyal heart we would praise and bring praise to Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

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