Revival Under King Asa
Open Your Bible
2 Chronicles 13:1-22, 2 Chronicles 14:1-15, 2 Chronicles 15:1-19, 2 Chronicles 16:1-14, John 14:21
BY Erin Davis
Since the days of Cain and Abel, humankind has made its way to the battlefield. Brother against brother, tribe against tribe, nation against nation: as image bearers broken by sin, we are prone to draw swords in our quest for power and prosperity.
Every history class covers the basics of this cycle. Someone rises to rule. Someone else wants what they have. Armies are assembled. Bullets fly. Warriors perish. White flags rise. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
But that’s just the lower story. There is another battle of greater significance. Here, the armies of heaven fight the armies of darkness, and the battle belongs to the Lord (1Samuel 17:47). Though 1 and 2 Chronicles are the archives of Israel’s kings, they also have a more interesting story to tell.
When Abijah squared off against Jeroboam, humanly speaking, his loss seemed certain. What are four hundred thousand warriors against an army of twice as many men? (2Chronicles 13:3). Yet Abijah faced his enemy unafraid and announced, “But as for us, the LORD is our God. We have not abandoned him…” (v.10). Swords made of matter clashed at the same time supernatural weapons were unleashed, revealing that this wasn’t Abijah’s war to win.
Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
—2 Chronicles 13:15 ESV
The next chapter records a new king and a new war. This time King Asa faced an enemy horde of one million soldiers (2Chronicles 14:9). Once the battle lines were drawn, Asa called out to the general of heaven.
Then Asa cried to the Lord his God, “LORD, there is no one besides you to help the mighty and those without strength. Help us, LORD our God, for we depend on you, and in your name, we have come against this large army. LORD, you are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder you” (v.11).
And again: “So the LORD routed the Cushites before Asa and before Judah, and the Cushites fled” (v.12).
Because of Asa’s devotion to the God who rescued him in battle, his nation enjoyed a brief moment of peace (2Chronicles 15), but like so many other rulers, Asa soon forgot his battlefield lessons and fought on his strength. Like those before (and after!) him, Asa’s self-sufficiency drew his people back into war.
“For the eyes of the LORD roam throughout the earth to show himself strong for those who are wholeheartedly devoted to him. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on” (2Chronicles 16:9).
You may not hold political power. You may never command a platoon. Still, the Spirit has preserved the lessons Israel’s kings learned the hard way so that we might choose the more excellent way (Romans 15:4).
You have battles to fight today. I have skirmishes of my own. We only have two choices. Will we call out to the God of armies or rely on our own meager strength? Wars are won in the heart. Battles shake out in the heavens. Whenever the battle strikes, may we repeat the prayer that saved Asa’s hide. O Lord, we rely on you (2Chronicles 14:11).