At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time. (2 Chronicles 16:7-10 ESV)
In the chapter before this, Asa is shown to be a great king who did away with all the foreign idols, even cutting down his mother’s idol and removing her from power because of it. He trusted in the Lord and when up against Ethiopia even though Ethiopia’s soldiers outnumbered his own nearly 2-1 and Ethiopia’s army was fortified with superior weapons.
But as he grew older he forgot those great victories won in his youth, or forgot that the Lord was behind them. Perhaps he reasoned the victories to other things as it became more distant in his memory. In any case, he lived more by sight than faith and looked to natural solutions rather than supernatural. In Revelation the church in Ephesus is exhorted to “remember the things you did at first” and not forget her first love. We need to remember God’s promises and work every day lest we too forget. God has given us means of grace so that we might finish strong in our faith.
Have you let the cynicism of the world influence your faith in God? What habits are you developing that will help you finish strong?
Thank the Lord for his past victories in your life and ask him to give you diligence to attend to his means of grace.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 16, Re 5, Hag 3, Ps 119:145-176