'For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.’ 2 Chronicles 16:9a
Very different from king Jehoshaphat, king Asa immediately sought help from people. To him this seemed safe and effective, more than seeking help from God. When in times of prosperity we have lost the hidden communion with God, how would we still dare to rely on Him in adversity? Moreover, the story of king Asa proves that human help can be very effective: did Baasha not retreat? Why would we rely on God when we manage quite well with human help?
But then the seer Hanani came and reminded Asa of something that happened about twenty-six years before (2 Chronicles 14:9). When a terribly strong enemy had gone up against Asa, young Asa had cried out to the Lord: ‘Lord, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty…’ O yes, in those days Asa still felt powerless, dependent on his God, and God had strengthened him. But Asa had become prosperous and had forgotten his God, for without Him he managed quite well…
However, God had not forgotten Asa. He sent his prophet to reproach Asa for not being fully committed to God anymore. ‘Not needed,’ was the answer of Asa. ‘Not needed,’ remained his answer when three years later he was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Then too, proud king Asa preferred human wisdom. After all, did God not give this wisdom too? But the wisdom of man - whose heart was not fully committed to God - failed, and Asa died. His corpse got a royal funeral, but the King of kings did not find a place in his heart.
The word of the prophet Hanani is ‘bread for our heart’ and when our heart is fully committed to Him, God will answer by standing in the gap before us.