In the busyness of life, and just generally being tired, my goal of reading the Bible in a year has been falling behind. This weekend has provided the perfect opportunity to catch up. These three verses were rather rebuking.
2 Chronicles 16:7-9
“Because you relied on the King of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the any of the King of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and 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.” (Asa)
Asa had prayed to God about an army one million strong, and had succeeded with half that many because he trusted in God. Yet he still felt compelled to make a covenant with Syria over facing God’s divided people.
I know that God’s timing for judgment and success is different in the New Testament. But we still see Asa relying on God in prayer and still taking action in light of it. Prayer and personal responsibility go together. Act in a way that shows you trust in God. He may not answer in the way we hope, but his timing is better than ours. I think we get too caught up in the now, and forget the bigger picture that the fight we have is spiritual and the outcome is less tangible than winning a battle, but more the slow progress of a heart that trusts in God no matter what.
2 Chronicles 16:12
“Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.” (Asa)
A similar idea to the one before, but a more specific example. I don’t often pray for God to heal me (though I can be very thankful that I am rarely sick). When I am sick though, I rest and take measures to make myself better. But I don’t pray. I don’t think it means that we shouldn’t look after ourselves or go to the doctor, but I think the first act should be to entrust yourself (and others who are unwell) to the God who created you. I struggle to do this.
2 Chronicles 17:6
“His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord.” (Jehoshaphat)
This verse reminded me to take pride in Christ and talk about him more (like you would talk about anything that is exciting or good). But I am afraid, and because of this, I sometimes wonder if I really do trust God with everything. He says don’t be afraid. Even if I am afraid, though, courage is about taking risks for good, despite fear.
Again, I think I just need to pray. And be prepared for God to answer those prayers in ways that I’m sure will freak me out. But still trust that whatever happens, the end of all things will see Christ ruling completely, and believers safe forever.