Choosing to rely on man instead of relying on God

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When Rehoboam’s son Ahijah ascended to the throne, there was war between him and king Jeroboam of Israel, 2 Chronicles 13:2,3. Although Judah had only half the number of well- trained warriors when compared to Israel, yet they won the war, because they relied on the Lord, vs 14-20.

Relying on the Lord meant that they obeyed God’s laws concerning the temple matters, while king Jeroboam failed greatly on that account, and they cried out to God in their distress and blew the trumpets too, vs 4-12, symbolising that they approached the Lord in their time of trouble with an attitude of faith and praise and thanksgiving! King Asa similarly relied on the Lord when a huge army came against him, and so the Lord ensured that they won the victory too, 2 Chronicles 14:2-15.

King Asa’s reign was generally very good as he did all he could to obey the Lord his God, (except that the high places were not eliminated) and the nation of Judah prospered greatly too, 2 Chronicles 15:17. However, in the 36th year of his reign when king Baasha of Israel attacked Judah, instead of trusting the Lord like he did before, he sought help from king Ben Hadad of Syria and gave him silver and gold to break his treaty with Israel, so that Israel would retreat from his land.

This displeased the Lord, and when God sent a prophet to rebuke King Asa for his wrongdoing, he refused to repent, but jailed the prophet instead, 2 Chronicles 16:1-10. Subsequently, even when he fell ill, he relied on the doctors instead of turning to the Lord in repentance, vs 11,12! This was indeed the sad end of an otherwise very good king!

As king Asa’s son Jehoshaphat followed the Lord wholeheartedly, God blessed and prospered him and his people greatly, 2 Chronicles 17:3-6. He took steps to send the officials of Judah and the Levites to teach God’s laws to the people, vs 7-9.

The Lord put fear into all the kingdoms surrounding Judah; they did not make war with Jehoshaphat, instead the Philistines and Arabs brought him tribute, and his power kept increasing, vs 10-12. However, the only mistake he seemed to have made was with regard to the alliance he formed with the wicked king Ahab through marriage, as well as the battle he fought with king Ahab against the Syrian army, 2 Chronicles 18:1-31.

He almost lost his life in that battle, but as he cried out to the Lord, the Lord graciously delivered him, vs 29-32. It is surprising to note how he didn’t heed the word of the true prophet of God, Micaiah, and still agreed to go into that battle in support of king Ahab, vs 6-22!

These examples show us very clearly the blessings that we receive on walking in obedience to God’s Word, as well as the enemies and problems that we attract on walking in disobedience to God, and choosing to rely on man instead of relying on God.

It also shows us the possibility of beginning well in our walk with God, but ending up by either becoming proud and self sufficient, or else compromising with unrepentant wicked leaders in the name of professing unity and love! Let us learn from their mistakes and avoid both extremes so as to finish our race well, by seeking to be well pleasing to the Lord alone, even if we have to stand alone, just like prophet Micaiah did! Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.