Seeking God’s Help First (2 Chronicles 16:7, 12)

2 Chronicles 16:7, 12 – 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.” . . . In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.
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King Asa seemed to start well, but in the latter part of his reign, he stopped relying on God. His actual downfall came when he hired out an army to fight for him instead of turning to God for help. Then, his reign closed with his diseased feet which he treated with the aid of physicians instead of calling upon the Lord.

Right away, this passage could make one wonder if the Bible is suggesting that we become one of those cults who refuse to use any sort of technology or medical treatments. I do not think that this is at all the message God has for us. But I do see that God has a point he wants to make for us. While there is nothing wrong with relying on the help of others or of physicians, there is something very wrong with relying on such things in God’s stead. There is nothing wrong with using the strength and skill that God has given you, but you do not want to rely on that strength apart from the power and help of God. I do not believe that Asa is condemned for seeking the aid of physicians in general; I think he was condemned for seeking the aid of physicians instead of and before seeking the aid of God.

Let the downfall of King Asa remind you that God wants you to seek him first. God does not want you to take on this life on your own. He does not want you to live the best life that you can naturally live. He wants you to glorify his name by living a supernatural life, one marked by his help. He wants you to seek him first and foremost. He may choose to help you through the aid of friends or doctors, and there is nothing wrong with that, but he wants you to honor him by coming to him first for his help. He will then choose whether or not to give you a supernatural, God-sized solution to your problem or to simply allow you to have help from others around you. In either instance, God is more honored when you and I seek him and his aid first, and he is dishonored when we act as though we can handle it all ourselves without him.

Dear Lord, this passage convicts me today, as I can think of times and places in life where I have tried to be like Asa, attempting to handle too many things on my own. I pray that you will always remind me in my heart to take time to seek you and your aid first. I thank you that you are willing and able to help me in any circumstances. I pray that you will show me the glorious power that you have to help me in life that I might better know and glorify you. Please forgive me for ever relying on myself or my friends too much. I repent of such worldliness, and I commit myself to seek your aid.

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