J7: 2 Chronicles 16

Prompt: Share about a scripture that has be meaningful to you recently?

During Asa’s father Abijah’s reign, an army from Israel marched on Judah, completely surrounding the Judean army. I think Abijah probably panicked along with the soldiers because the Bible says that they prayed desperately to God and He gave them the victory (13:14-15).

Shortly after Asa came to the throne himself, an army of over a million Ethiopians marched against him into Maresha. But Asa prayed to God like his father, and God delivered Judah.

Now, Asa faced another threat—smaller than Ethiopian army—but still a threat. Maybe he panicked when he heard about Baasha, the King of Israel, coming to attack him, but I don’t think he did. He probably thought, “I can handle this one.” So he took some gold from God’s temple treasury and sent it to a neighboring country, asking Ben-Hadad, King of Amram, to ally with Judah against Israel. Obviously, this reaction did not please God.

Just after that, Hanai the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said, “Because you went for help to the king of Aram and didn’t ask God for help, you’ve lost a victory of the army of the king of Aram. Didn’t the Ethiopians and Libyans come against you with superior forces, completely outclassing you with their chariots and cavalry? But you asked God for help and he gave you the victory. God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God’s help. Now you’re in trouble – one round of war after another.”
2 Chronicles 16:7-9, The Message.

Unfortunately, I really see myself in Asa. When I face the great Ethiopian army–when I am completely overwhelmed, nearly defeated, I cry out to God and he saves me. But all too often, I am faced with small threats, life pressures. I think, “I can do this on my own.” I don’t consciously think “I don’t need God.” I just forget to call out to him. Instead, I give more time and effort to solving the problem and give a little less time and effort to God… And I end up in trouble—overwhelmed, stressed out, drowning in life.

I get through it like Asa did. He didn’t die that time—he reigned for forty one years—but he kept thinking he could do it himself. As a result, he missed the miracles God might have done if Asa had just called for help. Isn’t that sad?

How many miracles do you and I miss because we’re determined to do things on our own, because we forget to trust, forget to call “Help, God!”?

2 Chronicles 16

4 Comments

  1. great job, angela! i really like that you chose an unconventional passage and brought it to our daily lives in a very relatable way. as always, very Christ-focused. however, i must say that i was surprised to see that you used the message Bible. though i haven’t read it at all personally, i have heard that it takes quite a bit of liberties with the text and judging from what i can see of your maturity in your faith and your knowledge of scripture i was… surprised. maybe i just didn’t expect that from you 🙂 anyway, random thought…. great job though!

  2. Blair, the message does take liberties. My dad is a NET translator and he doesn’t like the Message. When I was reading Lev. Num. and Deut., I chose to read the Message just for a different flavor of reading–those books can be tedious and I felt like the Message just smoothed out the language. Anyway, I just kept going until I got to the poetry books. This blog post actually comes almost directly out of my journal from some time earlier this year and because I was reading the Message then, I just copied it in here. I don’t like the Message “translation” of the New Testament, the prophets, or the poetry books, but I did appreciate the storytelling flavor of the history books. So–long answer–I wouldn’t recommend that someone read the whole Bible from the Message, but it isn’t all bad either.

    1. ok, that makes more sense. to be quite honest i was a little disappointed in you 😛 that’s an interesting method of reading the historical books. they really can’t take that many liberties with most of the stories, so you would probably get a pretty a accurate take on it and understand it better–or at least with less effort involved… hm, that’s a good idea. i appreciate you clearing it up!

      1. There are a lot of different opinions out there on the message, and I wouldn’t necessarily judge it without reading a few chapters from different sections of the Bible to get a feel for what its purpose is. It’s not trying to be a literal translation and so you just have to recognize that it isn’t and take it for what it is.

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