For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not. ~2 Chronicles 28:21
Perhaps one of the most troubling concerns that some people have is why their troubles don’t seem to go away. Their life story is that things go from bad to worse. It seems like it doesn’t just rain on them, but, instead, it is pouring on them. They say, “I tried praying, but it doesn’t work.” Whatever it might be, everything they do doesn’t seem to change their circumstances. Our devotion this morning helps us to see what I call “failed help.”
We see the challenges.
“And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.” God allows trouble into our lives for many reasons. Foremost of these reasons is to get our attention that we need Him and must draw closer to Him. God sends us distress for our penitence. There might be sin that we need to confess and forsake. God sends us distress for our purifying. It might be His means of growing us. God sends us distress for our praying. He is teaching us to pray and trust in Him. God sends us distress for His praise. God might be doing something in us that will be for His glory. All distresses and troubles are a challenge for building us.
We see the choices.
“For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD.” Ahaz chose to take away. I am amazed at the choices that many Christians make when they are in distress. They “take away” from praying to God. They “take away” from attending church. They “take away” from tithing and offering. They “take away” from godly counsel. They take matters into their own hands instead of having faith in God. They “poll” the counsel of the ungodly for solutions. They read books related to the topic of their distress in hopes of finding help. They pay exorbitant sums of money for legal or medical advice. These things have their right place, but only after God is first consulted. “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established” (Proverbs 16:3).
We see the chastening.
Ahaz tried to buy his way out of trouble, but the king of Assyria helped him not. Ahaz experienced “failed help.” He thought money would solve his problem: it failed him. He thought being unethical and dishonest would help him: it failed him. He replaced God with the worship of other gods: they failed him. He thought a heathen king could help instead of seeking the Heavenly King: this idea failed him. The tragic result is the summation of his life: “But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.” His distress became worse and not better.
We see the change.
First, we must give our distress to the Lord and trust in Him completely for our help. Second, when God does not take away our distress, He is teaching us that His grace is sufficient for us. It is during distress that we learn that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Third, it is better to put our trust in the Lord than to put our trust in man. Fourth, instead of taking away from that which is good for us, God is teaching us that we need Him to take away the sin in our life that might be the root cause of our problem.
Failed help in our life is a direct result of trying to deal with distress our way. We must trust in God. God can do anything but fail!
Have a dependent God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 1-4