And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “On account of your reliance upon the king of Aram, and since you did not rely on Yahweh your God, therefore the troops of the king of Aram escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with very abundant chariots and horsemen? And because of your reliance on Yahweh he gave them into your hand.” (2 Chronicles 16:7–8, LEB)

Even I, former Marine that I am, can see the importance of the word reliance/too rely in this passage.  Hanani repeats it three times and he is bringing a message from God to Asa so the word is very important.  It should be so for Asa [but is not] and is for we who read and study the passage after 3000 years.

The word means: “rely on, rest in, depend, i.e., have trust and belief in an object to the point of being in jeopardy if the object of trust fails, as a figurative extension of leaning upon a physical object for support” [Dictionary of Biblical Languages Hebrew].  Asa had good reliance upon God in the case of the Cushite army, but for some inexplicable reason he does exactly the opposite in the case of the king of Aram.  A prior spiritual victory does not guarantee spiritual victory in the future.  We must rely upon God daily in order to survive the spiritual difficulties that will inevitably come against us.

The main point here, it seems to me is that both Asa and we who follow in his footsteps ought to be dependent upon, to lean on, to rest in, to have trust and belief in, Our Lord.  We are not to look to answers to our difficulties in the world, or from our own ingenuity or  ability, but to depend upon the Lord.  The Lord in turn, is responsible for our well-being, our shalom.

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