And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah. Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 2 Chronicles 14:9-12 KJV
Once an Ethiopian named Zerah attacked Judah with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots. They advanced to the city of Mareshah, so Asa deployed his armies for battle in the valley north of Mareshah. Then Asa cried out to the LORD his God, “O LORD, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O LORD, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!” So the LORD defeated the Ethiopians in the presence of Asa and the army of Judah, and the enemy fled. 2 Chronicles 14:9-12 NLT
On this Monday morning, let us remember that we’re not fighting against the Amalekites, Hitites or even Zerah the Ethiopian. However, we do face Ignorantites, Arroganites, Idontlikeyoufornoreasonites, Illites, Brokeites, Stressedites and all kinds of problems that will make us feel like we’re being pursued by an Ethiopian with a million-man army. In other words, we do have troubles, circumstances, problems and such in life that can do either one of two things: defeat us or push us into increased reliance and trust in the Lord. Personally, when trouble and circumstances have me feeling like I’m in an Iraqi war, I look to the Word of God and let His Holy Spirit speak to my heart and my situation. As such, there are things in Asa’s prayer that I find comforting when I’m facing an overwhelming circumstance.
First, I like that Asa acknowledged his own powerlessness over the situation. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t do anything, because for sure Asa’s army went out to face the enemies. What’s important for me in this is that he was in a situation that was overwhelming and with the natural eye it looked like he was going to be defeated. Second, Asa acknowledged that he was putting his trust in God alone and not in the strength of his army or the speed of his horses. Third, Asa reminds himself that God is . . . well, He’s God. He IS. In His is-ness, He’s all powerful, all- knowing and He loves the socks off His people and defends them to the utmost. Fourth, Asa saw himself as completely a part of God, so much so that he saw any possible defeat as God being defeated. Finally, I see and understand that God responds to faith. He definitely responded to Asa’s faith. [I have to make a note here because with all the different teaching that’s around, I need you to know that I am not suggesting that an answer of “no” means you don’t have enough faith]
I try to take heart in every circumstance and remember that God is with me and He is on my side. It’s all throughout His Word, and He doesn’t lie! Be blessed!
©2018 – The Heart of the Matter, Devotionals or Something Like It, “God is On Your Side”
image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net – “Battles Word Shows Armed Conflict And Affray” by Stuart Miles