King Asa faced a provocation and threat of war [2 Chron 16].
[2 Chron 16:1-10]
In the thirty-six year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the LORD and the king's house, and sent them to Benhadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, "Let there be a league between me and you, as between my father and your father; behold, I am sending to you silver and gold; go break your league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me." And Benhadad hearkened to King Asa, and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abelmaim, and all the store-cities of Naphtali. And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and let his work cease. Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.
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 exceedingly 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 show his might in behalf of 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.
Note : about the previous war of Asa, it was recorded in
Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred 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 thee to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our GOD, for we rely on thee, and in thy name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our GOD; let not man prevail against thee." So the LORD defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the people that 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.
King Asa relied on his own wisdom, and took the silver and gold his father/grand-father/commanders-of-army dedicated to LORD and gave them to King of Syria. He relied not in LORD.
King David faced many dangers, first he escaped many captures by King Saul who sought his life, later he had to face many wars with neighboring countries, yet in nearly all battles, he was the one who went ahead of his army (until the time he was too old that the army worried about him and would not let him go). He must have known the dangers, yet he had great faith in LORD. LORD's approval of him may be seen from below,
LORD to Jeroboam : "Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you leader over my people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you; and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments, and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all that were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods, and molten images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back; therefore behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will utterly consume the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. Any one belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat; for the LORD has spoken it."
What power do you have when you act against TRUTH?
Do not follow one who teaches you "to abide by the time, hide away your conscience a little, and it is no harm to deal falsely a little."
(Note : stand on the side of LORD at all times; many prophets were killed because they stood on the side of LORD, just as the prophet who warned king Asa was imprisoned by Asa. But people true to LORD will be resurrected to a better life.)
Do not follow one who teaches you to follow him instead of following LORD.
(Note : what can he do ? He cannot even be sure of his own safety ? Trust only the almighty who holds authority over the Universe.)
Do not listen to one who teaches you "You must not walk in the light, the enemy will slay you. Listen to me, and make pretence and deal as I tell you, I will save you."
(Note : LORD requires honesty and uprightness in us ; Jesus : "Let your Yes be Yes, and No be No, anything more than this comes from evil"
Do not follow one who teaches you that "you should keep proper balance, give way to the wicked a little, and give way to the righteous a little, you will be safe that way."
(Note : When Moses sent people to spy out the land of Canaan, all people except Caleb became afraid, and they all wanted to return to Egypt, but Caleb stood firmly on the side of LORD. Only he and Joshua, among all their generation, entered Canaan finally. LORD : "But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it." [Num 14:24]
What confidence could you have when you have broken LORD's Laws? Only when you have held fast LORD's Laws and Commandments, and know that you haven't broken any Laws, would you have confidence like that of Job who was terribly afflicted by Satan,
Jesus : "For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. [Luke 9:24]
Wu Siu Yan
19th October, 2001