By James Smith
Then Asa cried to the Lord his God and said, "Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!" 2 Chronicles 14:11
"Then Asa cried to the Lord his God and said," Here is, first, a discovery of covenant interest. It was his God, not only the God of Israel, or of his fathers--but his own God. The God whom he knew, loved, and worshiped. The God whom he trusted, believed, and adored. His God, who had invited him to approach him in trouble, who had promised to hear prayer put up in distress, who stood engaged to answer. His God, whom he had proved on former occasions, and whose mighty acts he had read with pleasure and joy. His God, who conquered Egypt, divided the sea, led his people through the wilderness, and planted them in the promised land. His God, who raised him to the throne, gave him his law to direct him, his prophets to encourage him, and his priests to officiate for him. His God, who had given him faith in his word, love to his cause, and hope in his mercy.
Here is, secondly, the improvement of covenant interest in a time of trouble. "Then Asa cried to the Lord his God and said," To whom should he cry when wronged--but to the great Avenger; to whom should he cry for support--but to his God and friend; to whom should he cry for salvation--but to his great Deliverer? "He cried," not to man, mark his wisdom; "to the Lord," see his faith. It is the work of true and living faith, to lead the perplexed, tried, and troubled Christian to the Lord in every time of trouble. "Nature to nature leads--but grace to God directs." Carnal reason would lean on Egypt, or rely on Ethiopia; but
"Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,
And trusts in God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And says it shall be done."
"Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty." All things are alike easy to omnipotence; faith sees this--and the Lord the Holy Spirit leads us in troubles, peculiar troubles, to plead it.
What are enemies--to the Lord? What are instruments? Or what is human power? This, this is the work of faith, to survey, and to look beyond all, simply to the Lord, "to whom nothing is strong, nothing is mighty." His almighty word confounds the devices of the crafty, blasts the deep-laid schemes of enemies, loosens the loins of kings, and makes armies melt away as snow when the sun arises. Before his word difficulties vanish, obstacles remove, and apparently insurmountable barriers fly away like a frightened bird. Every hill is leveled, each mountain becomes a plain, and the mighty ocean becomes solid ground.
All things are possible, yes, easy to him with whom we have to do; to whom we pray; and in prayer it becomes us to view omnipotent power, infinite wisdom, and eternal love--as ready to make us blessed. Let us not, then, look at human weakness or power, at numbers either great or small, at probabilities or improbabilities--but simply to the Lord, who says, "Call upon me in the day of trouble--I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."
"Help us, O Lord our God!" Never is deliverance nearer, or more certain, than when we despair of help from self, or from any creature--and expect it only from the Lord. Herein is the Lord honored, flesh mortified, faith exercised, and an opportunity offered for omnipotence to display itself on our behalf. But did ever any self-despairing soul cry to the Lord for help in vain? Never! Rather shall heaven and earth pass away, than God falsify his word, or turn a deaf ear to the cry of his people in want, trouble, or distress. "I will deliver." Here Jehovah stands pledged; here we see the praying soul secured.
"For we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude." Here is the mighty, the irresistible argument, "We rest on you." The love, the faithfulness, the promise, the omnipotence of God, form . . .
a rock on which the believer can rest with safety;
a fortress to which he can repair with confidence;
a defense in which he can trust, though earth and hell assail him.
When by faith we rely, depend, or "rest" on the Lord, the cause becomes his--it is transferred from us; and his honor, his glory, his praise, bind him to effect our deliverance.
"We rest on you." Here is our safety, here is our consolation, here is our bliss! We have God--a covenant God, who is engaged to fight our battles, supply our needs, shield our persons, and save our souls! And not ours only--but all who believe on him, trust in him, and call upon him. O blessed security! O glorious privilege! O the wonders of the grace of God!
Here is a worm--defended by the Lord Almighty!
Here is a shaking leaf--supported by the upholder of the world!
Here is a poor, worthless, and erring mortal--delivered by the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity!
O the blessedness of the believing soul! Gracious, gracious God! give us to rest on you!
"In Your name we go against this multitude." In this we shelter, on this we trust; this is our armor of defense. It is not to be Asa's valor, nor Israel's courage--but the Lord's name! If we conquer--You have the praise; if we are ruined--your name will suffer. We depend, we trust, we rely on this alone; and if it is not sufficient, our enemies will overcome us. But God will uphold the honor of his great name. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and are safe."
"Do not let man prevail against You!" When once we have put our cause into the Lord's hand by faith, it is no more ours--but his. He accepts it when man resigns it--and we resign it, when we rest in him. As the child rests on its parent's wisdom, love, and power; as the client rests on his attorney's counsel; as the monarch rests on his armies, so does the believer rest on his God, and says,
"No other stay have I beside;
If this can alter, I must fall."
And now it is, "Do not let man prevail against You!" The Christian, and the Savior on whom he rests--are one; their cause, their interest, their security one; and because Jesus lives, he shall live also. O how blessed it is when we can see our persons one with Jesus' person, our cause one with his, our concerns identified with his; to find ourselves rooted in Christ, built up in him, and to be assured that our God will give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. May you thus pray, thus rest, and thus argue--and you shall thus conquer every foe!