2 CHRONICLES 14:9-13 – Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. And Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The men of Judah carried away very much spoil.”
The setting in today’s scripture is Judah about to be attacked by Zerah and his Ethiopian army. The force coming against King Asa and God’s people is no joke; a million-man army and 300 chariots. For King Asa? He faces great challenges. First, the battle itself. The situation is overwhelming. The force formidable. Next, he must provide confident leadership to an obviously petrified people under his care. And he must face his own fears and sense of inadequacy.
We may apply this situation facing God’s people physically to us spiritually in our daily war against sin, Satan and the world. How the king handled the literal battle is how we are to approach our spiritual battles.
First, the king went to the Lord in prayer – And Asa cried to the Lord His God. We are told “pray without ceasing” and that means in all things and all times (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But pay attention to the contents of his prayer. He started out focusing on the sovereignty of God, then his dependency on God, and finally his commitment to God – O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. All prayer is to focus first and foremost on God’s Person, not our need or desire. By directing our prayers to who God is, not in mindless uttering of words, but in contemplation of His attributes, we will pray with confidence and faith – the necessary elements of successful prayer. By remembering himself who God was – the sovereign Lord even over the Ethiopian armies – king Asa would pray in faith and this is the requirement God places upon us in prayer – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
Next, the king acknowledged the battle was really the Lord’s and it was His honor that was at stake – O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you. The appeal by Asa was for the Lord to fight his battle because ultimately, the battle belonged to the Lord. Should the Ethiopians prevail, it would have reflected poorly on God. Remember, everything is about God’s glory and His protection of His people is primarily for His sake, not their comfort or deliverance. Cling to these truths when the war rages. God will be your God and will help you, not to draw attention to yourself, but to Him that He might receive praise and honor in leading you to spiritual victory over your foes.
So, when the battle rages, recall the actions of King Asa. He prayed to and relied upon the “God of all mercies and love”. who would prove to be faithful to lead him and us to sure spiritual victors over our many foes.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I make life all about me and not all about You.”
QUOTE: “We exist for God to serve Him, not for Him to serve us and simply answer prayer.”
Because of Him,