King Asa was one of the good kings of Judah. He did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. He led Judah in the things of the Lord, and because of this total pursuit of God, they experienced rest on every side. But as we all know, sooner or later the enemy always attacks, and he did then with a vengeance. An Ethiopian army of one million men plus 300 chariots came against Judah. Severely outnumbered and out armed, Asa cried out to God who wrought for Judah a great victory.
You would think that with this victory “under his belt,” Asa would automatically turn to the Lord in time of trouble. Apparently not, for God sent a prophecy to Asa through Azariah, the son of Oded, about seeking Him at all times and being strong in the Lord’s work. Asa immediately did some spiritual housecleaning, with the result being “rest all around” and no wars.
However, in Asa’s 36th year as king another war broke out against Judah, and the perpetrator was none other than Baasha, King of Israel. Now here’s the strange twist. Does the older Asa turn to the Lord for help? No, he turns to the world, to Ben-Hadad the king of Syria. Let’s say he used a fleshly, worldly ally to ‘win’ a battle. Know why? It worked! But God wasn’t in it. So another prophet by the name of Hanani rebuked Asa for using the world in battle instead of relying on the Lord. Evidently the end doesn’t justify the means. God does not want us to rely upon worldly wisdom to win souls or engage in spiritual warfare. Asa started well, but didn’t finish well. He even failed to seek the Lord when he suffered from disease in his feet.
Communion reminds us that only Jesus can give us true victory in the battles of life. The Lord knows what we rely on in the midst of life’s trials. No matter how many victories the Lord has given us, there will always be the option of the flesh which we must discern and deny. Being cursed or blessed is all a matter of who we rely upon.