“Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. See, I have sent you a present of silver and gold. Come and break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.” (1 Kings 15:19)
King Asa of Judah had a problem on his hands. King Baasha of Israel was at war with him and was cutting off Asa’s trade routes. So Asa came up with what seemed like a smart plan. He sent a large quantity of gold and silver to the king of Syria and asked him to help him in the battle. The king of Syria attacked the kingdom of Israel, and King Baasha backed off. As far as the writer of 1Kings tells us, all was good. That’s smart, isn’t it?
Yet, what works isn’t always what’s right. After this successful diplomatic endeavor, the writer of Chronicles tells us that God sent word to King Asa asking why Asa hadn’t asked God for help. God helped Asa earlier in his reign and still wanted to help. God said, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Sometimes, I make the mistake of only asking for God’s help when my plans don’t work. Perhaps I ought to be asking God for help from the beginning. After all, He is looking for people to help.