Asking God For Help (2 Chronicles 15-16)

If you are looking for solutions to problems or challenges you are facing in life, then you'll want to pay close attention to this lesson that can be learned from observing the life of Asa, King of Judah. By observing his life and learning from his choices, we will discover the value and impact of our sincere prayers for help, and we'll learn how we can ask God for help.

King Asa's Background

King Asa's father did not leave his son a good example to follow. But despite the circumstances, Asa deliberately chose to honor Yahweh his God. He even inspired the people of Judah with these words, "we have sought [Yahweh], and he has given us rest on every side" (2 Chronicles 14:7, WEB). And because they sought Yahweh, the same verse tells us that "they built and prospered."

God Hears Our Requests

Yet even though they made right decisions and sought to honor Yahweh, opposition still came against Asa and his people. But isn't that normal? Even today, challenges and problems regularly face God's people who are earnestly seeking him. Right now, you might be facing a particular problem (I use the word "problem" loosely - it could be a big decision you are making, an addiction you are trying to break, or some sort of opposition that is trying to bring down your courage).

In the case of King Asa, his problem was that more than one million Egyptian troops declared war on him and his people, and they had less than half as many soldiers as their enemy. But King Asa was the kind of guy who was humble enough (and wise enough) to ask God for help. With the battle in array and both sides ready to fight, King Asa prayed a prayer so powerful that I feel compelled to quote the entire prayer, for your benefit:

"Yahweh, there is no one besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength. Help us, Yahweh our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. Yahweh, you are our God. Don’t let man prevail against you." (2 Chronicles 14:11, WEB)

I'm sure you can guess the outcome: King Asa's army prevailed and conquered the enemy who came against them with more than double the number of soldiers. How? Yahweh delivered them!

None Else Can Help, If We Exclude God

I wish the story ended there, because it is so encouraging to hear of the victories and successes that Yahweh does through his people. But the last few years of Asa's life were not so happy.

Military opposition once again came against King Asa, but this time he did not seek Yahweh's help. Instead, he gave the treasures from Yahweh's house to his enemies in order to establish a peace treaty. While it did put an immediate end to his problem (Asa's enemies retreated when they received his treasures), it produced an even bigger problem: a rebuke from Yahweh himself.

Through the prophet Hanani, Yahweh rebuked Asa for failing to seek God in his time of need. But surprisingly, Asa did not heed this rebuke. Instead, he became furious and even began to oppress the very people he had previously protected (see 2 Chronicles 16:10).

How dreadful it is to walk outside of God's favor. Asa did just that, and he paid the price: diseased feet. "Yet in his disease he didn’t seek Yahweh, but to the physicians" (2 Chronicles 16:12, WEB). This makes me wonder what could have happened if Asa had sought Yahweh's help once again, as he had in the beginning. Could he have been freed from his disease? Could he have prospered more in his latter years than in his former years? We may never know the answer to these questions concerning Asa's life, but we can decide how to respond to problems in our own lives.

The Solution

Let us find encouragement in Yahweh's words to Asa, "For Yahweh’s eyes run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him" (2 Chronicles 16:9, WEB). This gives us hope, because if we turn our hearts to Yahweh in sincerity, he promises to show himself strong on our behalf! That's your key finding solutions to the problems that come against you in life. Take Yahweh's advise, for he is the greatest problem solver ever!

How To Ask God For Help

Sometimes, asking for help can take the form of a simple prayer, "God, I need help!" Consider your heart as you ask, and make sure that your intentions are to glorify God. Thank him before you even see the solution, and then be sure to thank him when he shows himself strong on your behalf. God loves to be praised and thanked just as much as he loves to work in our favor. He deserves our honor and gratitude!

To conclude, I encourage you to take this opportunity to reflect on your current situation in life. Are you experiencing the fullness of God's favor and grace? Does your heart seek Yahweh, and do you depend on him for salvation? If any areas of opportunity come to mind, now is the time to change your heart. And remember, no heart is too hardened that God's love cannot melt it. As Yahweh said through the prophet Ezekiel, "I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26, WEB).

I pray that God's love will continue to prosper your heart to the point that his ways become your ways and his thoughts become your thoughts. May you find joy in serving the Lord, and may you live to see the faithfulness of Almighty God in your life!
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