2 Chronicles 16: 1 - 10 NKJV
A devotion on King Asa who turned from trusting in Yehovah, to trusting in his own strategies.
I. King Asa trusted in Yehovah his God (2 Chronicles 14)
He faced a siege from Zerah the Ethiopian v.8 - 10Zerah the Ethiopian set out to attack Judah with 1 million men and 300 chariots. King Asa was outnumbered. He had only 300,000 spear-men from Judah and 280,000 archers from Benjamin. It was Zerah's 1,000,000 men versus Asa's 580,000. And the armies were approaching each other in the Valley of Zepathat at Mareshah.
He cried out to Yehovah his God v.11King Asa went to Yehovah in his prayers, crying out,
" . . . O Yehovah our God, we rest on you,
In Your Name we go against this multitude.
You are our God - do not let man prevail against You."
He overthrew Zerah's army by the help of Yehovah v.12 - 15Yehovah struck the Ethiopians down. King Asa pursued them to Gerar, overthrew them and went on to defeat all cities around Gerar. His army plundered exceedingly much spoil from the Ethiopians.
II. King Asa trusted in his own strategies (2 Chronicles 16)
He was besieged by Baasha King of Israel v.1Baasha King of Israel laid siege on Judah and built the city of Ramah to prevent anyone from visiting King Asa. This time King Asa did not turn to God in prayer. He did not cry out to Yehovah his God as he had done before. Instead, he hatched a plan. He formulated a strategy to defeat his enemy using another enemy. He turned to the King of Syria for help.
He turned to Ben-Hadad King of Syria v.2 - 6King Asa took gold and silver from the treasuries of the Temple and from his palace and sent them to Ben-Hadad as gifts in return for a favour: that Ben-Hadad would break his treaty with Baasha King of Israel.
His scheme was successful. Ben-Hadad King of Syria sent out his armies against Israel and attacked many cities at once: Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, including the storage cities of Naphtali.
As a result, Baasha was forced to retreat, leaving the city of Ramah to be destroyed and looted by King Asa's army, who "carried away the stones and timber of Ramah" (v.6).
He was rebuked by Hanani the seer v.7 - 9Adonai Yehovah sent Hanani the Seer to rebuke King Asa and prophesy against him. Hanani told Asa this:
- You have not relied on Yehovah your God (v.7)
- You have forgotten how Yehovah had delivered you from the 1,000,000 strong army of Zerah the Ethiopian (v.8)
- You have done foolishly: from now on you will have wars (v.9)