Looking for Help in All the Wrong Places

Last time we learned yet again why God’s original covenant (known to us today as the Old Testament) is just as important as the new covenant (known to us as, you guessed it, the New Testament). This time, let’s be reminded how much the OT has to teach us still.

2 Chronicles tells us about the various kings of Judah from Solomon through their fall to the Babylonians. A little less than half-way through, beginning in chapter 14, we learn about Asa. Asa, like many of us, began well, doing “what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord His God.” When attacked by an army of one million, he cried out to God for help. He removed all the detestable idols from the land.

He even deposed his own grandmother from her position as queen mother because of her idolatry. That’s right, his grandmother. That’s a pretty strong commitment to the Lord, I think.

But thirty-six years into his reign, Asa seems to have had a bit of amnesia. When he was threatened by Baasha the king of Israel, Asa immediately robbed his own treasury and sent silver and gold to Ben-hadad, king of Aram (Syria), asking him for help. And Ben-hadad rose to the occasion — he immediately attacked Israel and caused Baasha to abandon his attack.

But God didn’t really appreciate Asa turning to an enemy instead of Him for help. He sent Chanani (ch as in Bach) to Asa and told him, among other things:

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been!

Asa is reminded of what he already knew: we’re always foolish when we look for rescue from anyone other than the Rescuer.

Which brings us to the election. (Hey, I said I was going to get to something controversial!)

The election has come up several times over the last several weeks amongst friends of ours, and to a person the ones we’ve talked to are voting for Trump, and to a person they’re voting for him “because of the Supreme Court.” Now, this isn’t a huge surprise, because it’s a common refrain among evangelicals, a community that I and most of my friends are members of. They’re petrified of what might happen to the court in the hands of a Democrat.

But, like Asa, I think they’re looking for help in the enemy’s camp. Trump has many adjectives associated with him — liar, misogynist, liar, racist, liar, narcissist, and now sexual predator. He thinks it’s OK to threaten news-media with a weakening of the First Amendment, to threaten his opponent with jail, and to grab women in places that caused parents across the country last week to mute the election coverage while their children were in the room. He not only think those things are OK, he brags about them to his followers.

I want you to imagine his opponent even hinting at just one of those things. Fox News might literally melt down, with nothing but piles of protoplasm at every news desk. Might be kind of fun, come to think of it.

You might imagine you could discern my “leanings” as a result of this post. You would almost certainly be wrong. I’m frankly scared to death at what’s going to happen as a result of this election, but my fear doesn’t rest with one side or the other, but with the sad state of a country that thinks these are the two best candidates to run the place. Sometimes, God lets us drive the bus straight into the ditch.

If we’re headed for the ditch, I would like the bus not to explode into a bajillion tiny pieces when we get there, and I’m fairly confident that’s what would happen with Trump at the wheel. I’m going with David, who when offered a choice between three years of famine or three months of the sword of his enemies or three days of the plague, chose the plague because he determined it was better to be in the hands of the Lord than those of man. Three days of the plague weren’t great, but they were a durn sight better than the alternative.

Let’s be like the early Asa instead of the late Asa. Let’s let his prayer of 2 Chr 14:11 be our prayer.

Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You alone.

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