“The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you.” 2 Chronicles xv. 2.
King Asa of Judea, unlike his predecessors, started off well and did what was “good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.” (xiv.2) Under his leadership, his domain had peace for ten years. When his kingdom was threatened by Zerah the Ethiopian, Asa trusted in Yahweh. He had cried out to God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God …” (xiv.11) Indeed Yahweh heard his prayer and helped him defeat the Ethiopians.
After he returned victorious to Jerusalem, God sent prophet Azariah to Asa with this message: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” This encouraged Asa to further cleanse the land of all idols. He went to the extent of deposing the “queen mother” because she had made a “detestable image for Asherah.”
However, in the thirty sixth year of his reign, he failed to trust in Yahweh when he was faced with a military situation. He relied on his “silver and gold” to outwit his enemy (xvi.3); he sought to bribe his enemy’s ally. He did not seek God’s help. Therefore, God sent prophet Hanani to Asa. He rebuked him for not trusting in Him during that crisis. It was Hanani who said, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” (xiv.9)
Instead of repenting of his sin, King Asa imprisoned prophet Hanani. He became a tyrant who “inflicted cruelties” upon some of his people. (xvi.10) During the last two years of his life, Asa suffered from a disease in his feet. It was good time to seek the LORD his God and repent of all his sins. “Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.”
God’s love toward us is unconditional. However, in his love, he has given us conditional promises so that we may continually seek Him. God might help us directly or through various people, including physicians. But He wants us to seek Him first and foremost.
God wants His people to be faithful to Him all the days of their life. If we hold on to God through all of life’s difficulties, He will show Himself strong on our behalf. If we depart from God or stop trusting in Him, all the glorious victories of the past will come to nothing. The LORD is with us only as long as we are with Him!