And Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor. Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots and came as far as Mareshah. And Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried to the LORD his God, "O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name, we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God; let not man prevail against you." So the LORD defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the LORD and his army. The men of Judah carried away very much spoil. And they attacked all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD was upon them.They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them.
This is an interesting and instructive story with the nation of Judah facing an army which outnumbered them 2 to 1 and with 300 chariots. The latter were the tanks of the day with the ability to deploy a large force quickly.
But the fear of the LORD was upon the army of Judah, and they prevailed. The lesson to me is that when I am faced with an opportunity to prevail against the enemy, I must not depend on my strength and knowledge. Asa prayed first and then went out to do battle. Notice that the text does not give credit to the army but states that the LORD defeated the forces of the Ethiopians.
When will I learn to pray as I walk from my car to the prison? Or any other opportunity to do battle with the father of lies.
Today's readings in the Psalms:
Morning: Psalm 103
Evening: Psalm 29
"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at the Fellowship Of Ailbe bookstore. All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless otherwise noted. A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/52-general-downloads. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.