In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel fought against Judah. Rather than relying on the Lord as his warrior, Asa took treasures from the temple and sent them to the king of Syria in order to buy an alliance against Israel. His plan worked and Baasha withdrew from Asa’s lands. However, the seer Hanai said to Asa, “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. 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” (16:7-9).
The kings were so slow to learn. The people were so slow to learn. We are so slow to learn. Has our God ever failed us? Has he not proven himself faithful time and time again? With David may we always say, “I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:6-7).
Now I know that God will encourage those he loves;
he will hear and answer from on high.
Not a word shall fail of the promise he has made,
nor the works of his victorious right hand.
There are some who boast of the weapons of the world,
but the power of God is all our pride.
Those who arm for war shall one day collapse and fall,
but God's people stand and in their King prevail. --Christopher M. Idle (1969)