The story of King Asa of Judah provides a huge lesson for us. At first, we see that the Ethiopian army comes against Judah. Judah was outnumbered nearly 2 to 1. King Asa turned to God for help:
“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.’” (2 Chr. 14:11 ESV)
After this, Judah had peace for many years. In the 36th year of Asa’s reign, Israel came up against Judah. Asa makes a treaty with a Syrian king so that he would go up against Israel instead. This is completely opposite of his earlier move. Instead of trusting God for help in the battle, he looked to a heathen king:
“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 very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand.’” (2 Chr. 16:7-8 ESV)
In both of these passages, we find the word “rely” or “relied”. The Hebrew word used here means “to lean on, trust in, support.” Had Asa relied on, trusted in, leaned on the Lord, he may have achieved the same result, but with a better method.
Sometimes we place our confidence in the wrong place. We rely on earthly things instead of God. The result is not always disastrous. We can achieve the desired end result without trusting in God’s provision. But what is the cost? What do we lose when we forego God’s plan and do things a different way? We certainly miss out on the blessing that God was going to provide.
In every situation that we face, we must rely on God to help us. Sometimes, that help comes in the form of wisdom. He helps us to know where to go and what to do. Sometimes He just takes care of the problem for us. Often times, He deals with our problems in ways that we do not expect. Sometimes, it is not what we were wanting. We just have to remember that He is God, and knows how things will work out. When Paul was asking the Lord to remove his “thorn in the flesh,” God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
This was not the only way in which God showed Paul that he needed to rely on God and God alone:
“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” (2 Cor. 1:8-10 ESV)
The Greek word used here for “rely” is much the same as the Hebrew word used earlier. The word means, “to trust in, put confidence in a person or thing.”
No matter what situation you or I go through, we must rely (put our trust or confidence in, to lean on for support) on God. Sometimes, it seems easy to put our confidence in God when the situation is really big. But, the small issues can be difficult to rely on God for the answer. The problems seem rather easy to handle. But, we still want to accomplish God’s will in our lives. The only way we are going to do that is to fully trust in Him in every circumstance.