In today’s reading I’m again struck by a couple of things which seem particular to the Chronicler.
The first is the reassurance of 15:3-4 – ‘for a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them’. God remains faithful, even when we lose sight of him. And his grace doesn’t depend entirely upon those who are called to lead; he is waiting for us to return to him even when our prayer is fuelled purely by our need for help, and not by understanding of what he has revealed.
God is faithful. Even if I forget what I have known of him, he is still there, unchanged in love, waiting for me to return. That’s good news.
The balance to that faithfulness is that God calls me to depend on him even when I don’t understand. Asa begins his reign by depending upon the LORD for victory against a powerful Ethiopian army. But later, he doesn’t even trust God when his feet become diseased, ‘yet even in his diesease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.’ (16:12).
As someone with arthritic feet, which today have been causing quite a lot of pain, I don’t think that I’m meant to ignore physicians – and without various surgery over the years I’m sure that I’d be far less mobile and in far more pain than I am now. I’m grateful for ibuprofen as well as for good shoes and a walking stick.
But I know that my feet are one of my testing points in relying on God – especially when they force me to rely on others. Perhaps my challenge today is to find a way consciously to put this in God’s hands. Even when I don’t understand, or don’t like what I do understand, he is faithful. And he calls me to trust in that faithfulness.