06/25/15 Depending on God . . . but then on Self

READING: 1 Kings 15:1-24; 2 Chronicles 13-16

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Central to these texts is the story of the reign of Asa, king of Judah. He “did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, as his ancestor David had done” (1 Kgs. 15:11). His heart was “completely devoted to the Lord all his life” (1 Kgs. 15:15). That devotion, though, doesn’t mean the king never failed. When Israel’s King Baasha warred against Judah, Asa turned to an alliance with Ben-hadad rather than trust God (1 Kgs. 16:1-6). The seer Hanani made clear Asa’s sin:

2 Chron. 16:7-9  At that time, Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him, “Because you depended on the king of Aram and have not depended on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a vast army with many chariots and horsemen? When you depended on Yahweh, He handed them over to you. . . . You have been foolish in this matter.”

Later, when Asa dealt with a severe foot disease, “he didn’t seek the Lord but only the physicians” (2 Chron. 16:12). His sin was not that he sought the physicians; it was instead that he did not seek God. The king who had started so well ended with a track record of self-dependence. He stands as a reminder that all of us can trust God today, but trust self tomorrow. Today’s dedication to God is no guarantee we will not face the next battle in our own strength. 

PRAYER: Pray that I will always be aware of my tendency to depend on self — and ask God to keep my from going there.   

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 15:25-16:35; 2 Chronicles 17