Discover His heart: He searches for the cry of the righteous heart and will answer
As parents, it’s difficult to watch our teenagers struggle through situations because they have refused our help. We’re standing close by them, ready to help at a moment’s notice, but it’s as if they forget that we are the ones who brought them to this point in life through our guidance and direction. Instead, we see them turn to peers or others who really don’t know them at all for the help that we are so willing to give. We watch and wait for any indication that would tell us they are seeking our guidance. I wonder if this was somewhat how the Lord felt when King Asa, who had sought His help for many years, decided to turn to others for help.
@ 2 Chronicles 16
King Asa started his reign in a positive manner. God was his help, his source and the one he ran to for help. Last week we read the covenant Asa and the Israelites made with the Lord, “Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. They agreed that anyone who refused to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, would be put to death—whether young or old, man or woman.” Because of Asa’s reliance and trust in the Lord, the country was protected from war.
Unfortunately, as time when on, Asa decided he no longer needed his Father’s help, and he made alliances with Aram to secure protection for Israel instead of praying to God. A prophet came and pronounced judgment on Israel because of this, “What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.” (9) Then, to add insult to injury, “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned only to his physicians.” (12) There’s nothing wrong with using physicians, but why not seek the Lord’s help first?
God, the Father of all Israel, was standing by waiting for Asa to pray for help, but Asa failed to do so. What happened to cause this change in his heart anyway? And why do we fail to pray when we should and instead turn to others for help? I once heard an evangelist say that pride keeps us from praying. When we fail to pray for a need and in turn make alliances with others for help, we are saying to God that we feel we can handle it all by ourselves. We really don’t need His help. Or perhaps we don’t trust that God is able to manage our problem, and in a sense, that is pride too.
Just like a loving parent, God is standing by waiting for us to ask for help. After all, He knows our need before we even pray because of how intimately He knows us. In fact, the prophet told Asa, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (9) God is actually searching to help those who trust in Him. David declared it in Psalm 34:15 and Peter did as well in I Peter 3:12, “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.” Do we really want to let a thing like pride or unbelief keep the Creator of the Universe, the One who knows us best, from helping us in our time of need? I pray not!
Moving Forward: Oh yes, I need His help today. I can’t do it myself. Hear my cry, Lord.
Tomorrow @ Psalm 119