Little children will sometimes reject help, insisting, “I can do this all by myself.” While a desire for independence can be admirable, it became a problem for King Asa. Asa had taken over for Abijah as King of Judah, and we may sigh with relief that he was a righteous ruler! His zeal to follow the Lord led to religious reform for the whole nation. He disciplined his own mother because she was worshiping an idol and reestablished Temple worship.
While Asa did not eradicate every single high place, he never drifted into idolatry himself. So it is a bit of a surprise when we read that “there was war between Asa and Baasha all their days” (v. 16). War is usually a sign something is wrong.
Baasha, king of the northern tribe of Israel, had invaded the southern territory, blocking the roads in and out of Jerusalem. King Asa had two options. One: Cry out to God and ask for help. Or two: Look for a political solution. Asa chose option 2. He used all the treasures from the Temple and his storehouses to buy a treaty with the wicked king of Syria. Syria would attack Baasha creating a two-front war and Baasha would be forced to leave Jerusalem alone.
The plan worked! Or did it? In 2 Chronicles 16, we read that the Lord was not pleased with Asa’s decision. Why? Because he trusted in the strength of a foreign king rather than in God Himself (2 Chron. 16:7). By using his wealth to secure peace, Asa was not relying on God’s help. Paying off his enemy to defend him betrayed a lack of faith in God and a reliance on his own wealth (Deut. 17:14–20).
>> Doing it ourselves isn’t always the best option. Sometimes we forget that the first place to turn to is God. Asa gave in to the temptation to trust himself and his riches. Where have you placed your trust for your security?
It is hard for us, physical beings with senses designed for this tangible world, to trust in Your intangible power and love. When life tempts us to flee or fight, Jesus, teach us not to seek security in this world, but in You.