Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 2, 2015

“Lord, there is no one besides You to help … so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You … O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Chronicles chapter 14.

“1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place.  The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days.

2 Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, 3 for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment.  5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah.  And the kingdom was undisturbed under him.  6 He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the Lord had given him rest.  7 For he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars.  The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God;  we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.”  So they built and prospered.  8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, bearing shields and wielding bows;  all of them were valiant warriors.

9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and he came to Mareshah.  10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.  11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength;  so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude.  O Lord, You are our God;  let not man prevail against You.”  12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.  13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar;  and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army.  And they carried away very much plunder.  14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them;  and they despoiled all the cities, for there was much plunder in them.  15 They also struck down those who owned livestock, and they carried away large numbers of sheep and camels.  Then they returned to Jerusalem.”   2 Chronicles chapter 14.

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Although “Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God” verse 2, and although Asa “removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment” verses 3 and 4, Asa based his prayer request in verse 11 on the following three points, rather than on what he (Asa) or they (Judah) had done.

In sharp contrast, other doctrine bases their prayer requests and expectations for what God will do for them on their works or on their alleged free-will choice of God to save them or based on the repetition and earnestness and eloquence of their prayers.

I will point out three things in Asa’s prayer that remind us of Reformed Doctrine. 

First, Asa points out their complete dependence on God:  “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength  … so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You”.

Likewise, in the first point of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, which is “Total Depravity”, Reformed Doctrine shows why there is such complete dependence on God, why “there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength”.  “Total Depravity” clearly shows that there is no personal merit in themselves which would motivate God to help them, and there is no personal merit in others that would give them a reasonable expectation that others will truly and fully help them.

Second, Asa points out that that God is their God:  “O Lord, You are our God … and in Your name have come against this multitude”.

Likewise, in the beginning of Heidelberg Catechism, Question and Answer 1, we see the comfort and expectation of believers is based on the fact that “I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ” which is consistent with Asa’s declaration “O Lord, You are our God”.

Third, Asa pleads “let not man prevail against You” recognizing that God will also act for His own sake.

We also see elsewhere in Scripture that God acts for His own sake.  For example in Ezekiel 20:44, we read:  “Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God.’”

Likewise, Reformed Doctrine believes that even if we do not deserve such help, God unconditionally chose us, the second point of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, which is “Unconditional Election”, so God will help those whom He has chosen for His own sake.

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