June 4 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” ~2 Chronicles 14:11

Asa comes to the throne during a period of conflict and moral decline. Crime is up, wars are raging, and false religions are proliferating as the true faith descends into decay. When Asa is crowned king, he is commended for his faithfulness to God. He deposes his idol-building grandmother (1 Kings 15:13), smashes idols, and relies on God for victory in battle. His bold action leads the people to seek the Lord, and, in return, God grants him peace and blessing (see 2 Chronicles 15:1-7).

However, as Asa ages, he relies more and more on his wealth, experience, and power. He has become a great strategist, so rather than petitioning God’s counsel before a battle, he maneuvers. There’s nothing wrong with political and military strategy; we should indeed prepare the horse on the day of battle. The problem is that Asa leaves God totally out of the picture and trusts solely in his own skill. When he sickens in his old age, he depends upon expert physicians rather than looking to the Lord for healing. Again, it is good to seek medical care, but one can (and should) do so while also seeking the Lord. The Lord is the one who heals, even if He uses doctors and medicine.

It is in this context that we find one of the most memorable lines about God in Scripture. It is one of my favorites. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chron. 16:9).   I love that. Asa knew it and lived it early in his life. God is looking for someone to do awesome things for! He wants to help. But He wants to find someone who says, “God, I trust you. I know You are great, and I know You can do whatever You want. Even though I’m working hard and doing my best, I know that blessing comes from you. Bless me!” That’s the kind of person God delights in helping. May the Lord see you and your need and bless you with victory and strength!

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.