Help, Help, Help!
2 Chronicles 14:11: And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.”
Help, help, help! Don’t we say that, or something like it, whenever we are in great trouble? Maybe we don’t express it out loud, or maybe we don’t explicitly say “Help, help, help.” But who doesn’t know about being in difficulty and distress and somehow, somewhere, looking for assistance? The critical question every time is: to whom do we look? To whom do we cry for help? How important that we learn in life and with everything, always to go to the Lord above all. For “our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).
King Asa’s Cry for Help
One man who knew that, at least early in his life, was King Asa. In 2 Chronicles 14:9, we read the amazing account of King Asa having to respond to an enemy invader coming with one million soldiers and three hundred chariots. What did Asa do? He assembled his soldiers, more than 500,000—quite an army too, but not nearly enough—and then he prayed. “Help us, O Lord” (v. 11). From Asa’s prayer we learn several things about crying to the Lord for help:
Remember: God is Almighty
Asa in that moment leaned ultimately on the Lord’s power. He started his prayer by saying, “Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many or with them that have no power…” What Asa meant is that the Lord doesn’t need our armies, big or small, in order to help and assist. He is able to rescue and deliver all on His own. He is, after all, the sovereign and almighty God. Shouldn’t we always recognize that in our times of need, and shouldn’t that drive us to pray? No matter how qualified or capable or not we are (and of course, ultimately we are never capable enough), none but the Lord God can help.
Remember: God’s Covenant Promise
Something else Asa did was plead the covenant. Several times he referred to the covenant name LORD—or Jehovah—that name that God had revealed way back when He set Israel free from Egyptian bondage. LORD means that He is the great faithful God who has covenanted with His people, and above all else, He is always true to His Word. He will be Israel’s God. And so Asa noted that. He said, “Help us, O LORD our God” and “thou art our God.” This should remind us of the baptism form, part of which says, “And if we through weakness fall into sin, we should not despair of God’s mercy, nor continue in sin, since baptism is a seal and undoubted testimony that we have an eternal covenant of grace with God.” Special mention is made there of sin, although to that we could add every form of trouble we meet. And about it all, we can go to the Triune Lord God and we can say, “Help us, Father, for Jesus’ sake, through the Spirit, O help us, for hast Thou not pledged and promised to be our God?” It’s like what we sometimes sing from Psalm 81, the words of the Lord to us: “I will, if thou plead, fill thine every need, all thy wants relieving” (Psalter 431:4).
Remember: To the Praise of God
Notice too from Asa’s prayer that Asa, in praying and asking for help, aimed at the praise of God’s name. Asa was concerned for more than himself and his people. He was concerned for the glory of God. “In thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord … let not man prevail against thee.” Thee! So Asa was thinking about the Lord: His name, His reputation. This too is a helpful and challenging point for us. As much as our need is about us, and as much as in our need we can and may and should cry out to God for us, let us do so for His sake and to His praise. Isn’t that the longing of every true Christian, that in all things, also in God’s help and deliverance in our life, His name may be praised, and His fame extended?
King Asa Helped by God
When are we not in trouble? And how great especially our greatest trouble, that of being sinners by nature and apart from the intervention of the Lord, destined for eternal judgement!. There is, after all, no help like the help He gives. And how He loves to give it—also, and especially, in answer to prayer. That is also what Asa experienced. In 2 Chronicles 14:12, right after Asa’s prayer, we read that “the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.” Once more, the Lord proved true, and in answer to prayer, in answer to a cry for help, He worked, He helped, He saved. It is true, not every time does He work in this way, and that’s why also we must learn to pray in all things, “Thy will be done.”
But that said, how many times do we have not, because we ask not (James 4:2)? And even if we ask and there is no help, or no help like we requested and expected—maybe it comes in other ways—but even so, let’s not forget the greatest saving help the Lord has given through Jesus (who, don’t forget, was in His greatest need, left alone, not answered, not helped!), and the promise of the Holy Spirit to all who ask, and the anticipation of an eternity in glory when there will be no more cries for help because there will never again be any trouble or distress.
Until then, “Help us, O LORD…”
To read more on our series called, “Help!” you can also click the tag “Help!” below.