Rely On The Lord
It can be rather unnerving when a pilot asks passengers to pray while the plane is at cruising altitude. But that is exactly what happened when the pilot of a recent AirAsia flight from Australia implored his passengers to pray for the plane’s safe landing an hour after takeoff.
One passenger recounted what the pilot said, “I hope you all say a prayer. I will be saying a prayer, too. Let’s hope we all get back safely.” Fortunately, the plane landed without incident and all 359 passengers were transferred to later flights.
Once they landed, the passengers realized how fortunate they were. One of the blades had come off of the turbine, causing the plane to “vibrate like a washing machine.”
After hearing this fascinating news report, the next day I found myself reading 2 Chronicles 16. It is here I encountered a king of Judah by the name of Asa. Unlike the pilot in our news story, when Asa’s “plane was crashing” he did not turn to God for help. The army of Israel had set a siege against the city of Jerusalem, and instead of relying on God to deliver the people of Judah, he turned to his neighbors instead.
The most perplexing thing about Asa’s story is that earlier in his life, in 2 Chronicles 14, faced with a similar threat from his enemies he turned to God for help. In 2 Chronicles 14:11, we read, “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.’” In fact, the prophet even reminded him of this in 2 Chronicles 16:8, “Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand.”
But not this time! Rather, in 2 Chronicles 16, he relied on man and not on God. This misplaced trust led to his ruin and it was at the heart of his downfall. In fact, at the end of his life he had contracted a disease and we read in 2 Chronicles 16:12, “Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.”
This is not an indictment for going to a doctor. Rather, this is a window into King Asa’s heart. For some reason, he no longer turned to God in prayer. He no longer relied on God. Instead, even while facing death, he relied on himself. Not so the pilot. The pilot of this plane knew his limitations. The pilot was humble enough to ask his passengers to pray . . . . to rely on God!
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