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Tuesday, August 12 2014
2 Chronicles 14: When The LORD Leads The Army
"So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled"
Asa succeeded his father Abijah (see Abijah and Jeroboam: Judah Versus Israel) as king of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah; also Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
"14:1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years." (2 Chronicles 14:1 KJV)
Asa was an overall righteous king - as his father had been (see also What Do Leaders Do?). Asa "commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the Law and the Commandment."
"14:2 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: 14:3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: 14:4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 14:5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 14:6 And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.
Judah and Israel at that time were frequently at war with each other, as well as against the nations around them. Asa understood the reality that weakness causes war because it invites belligerence and invasion from arrogant people (who never start wars with strong nations). Asa therefore built a reasonably-sized army to defend his nation's peace.
"14:8 And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour." (2 Chronicles 14:8 KJV)
Asa's army consisted of 300,000 troops of Judah and 280,000 from Benjamin for a total of 580,000 men. It was a large army, even by present-day standards. Zerah the Ethiopian king however had an army of "a thousand thousand" i.e. a million troops. It was a bloated army of aggression that would have been a huge drain upon the nation - without invasions to make their "defense" profitable from war industries and the economic looting of occupied nations. So Zerah arrogantly invaded the kingdom of Judah - who were outnumbered two to one in troops by the Ethiopians.
"14:9 And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah. 14:10 Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah." (2 Chronicles 14:9-10 KJV)
Asa's skillful battle commanders and troops could still have achieved a victory, but the cost in human life in such a massive conflict in a small area would have been very high - along with the destruction within Judah. So righteous "Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee." The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) answered in a way that He had done numerous times before against hostile nations who started wars of aggression. The LORD confronted the million-man invasion army: "So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled."
"14:11 And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
Fact Finder: Is Jesus Christ going to return on a white horse? Will He be leading a great army on the day of His return?
This Day In History, August 12
30 BC: Cleopatra (see The Cleopatra Connection), the last ruler of the Greek Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids), committed suicide.
1099: During the First Crusade, the Crusaders defeated the Egyptians at Ascalon on the "Palestine" coast (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1281: Kublai Khan's Mongolian fleet was destroyed by a typhoon as it was nearing Japan.
1332: The Battle of Dupplin Moor; Edward Baliol, king of Scotland, with the aid of Edward III defeated Donald, earl of Mar and regent for David II (who was 8 years old at the time).
1499: The naval Battle of Zonchio began between the Venetians and the Ottomans (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1450: During the Hundred Years War, the English surrendered Cherbourg, completing Charles VII's conquest of Normandy.
1508: Ponce de Leon arrived in Puerto Rico.
1759: The Russians under General Soltikov and the Austrians under General Landon defeated 40,000 Prussians under Frederick the Great at the Battle of Kunersdorf in the Seven Years War.
1762: The British captured Cuba from Spain after a two month siege.
1779: The Royal Navy defeated the Penobscot Expedition, resulting in the largest loss of US naval forces prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor over 160 years later - all 19 US warships sunk or run aground while attempting to escape the battle.
1813: Austria declared war against Napoleon.
1851: Isaac Singer received a patent for his "sewing machine."
1877: British explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley reached the mouth of the Congo River.
1896: Gold was discovered near Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. The news set off the "Yukon Gold Rush."
1898: The Spanish-U.S. war ended with the signing of a protocol by Spain and the U.S. Spain relinquished Cuba and ceded Puerto Rico.
1898: The Hawaiian flag was lowered from Iolani Palace in an annexation ceremony that marked the end of Hawaii as an independent nation.
1908: Henry Ford's first Model T rolled off the assembly line.
1914: At the start of the First World War, the first troops of the British Expeditionary Force crossed the English Channel for battle. In 10 days, 120,000 men were transported without loss of a single man or ship.
1944: Nazi Waffen SS troops massacred about 560 people in Sant'Anna di Stazzema (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1944: Nazi German troops ended the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions (again, see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1944: The first PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) supplying gasoline across the English Channel to the Allied forces in France, went into operation from the Isle of Wight. It could transfer up to 700 tons of gasoline a day.
1961: The erection of the Berlin Wall began.
1992: The U.S., Canada and Mexico agreed to form a free-trade zone that would rank as the world's largest single trading bloc. The agreement was later dwarfed by the rise of China which flooded North America with made in China products, while at the same time China became the largest creditor of the soaring U.S. national debt i.e. in 2010, China became the major financial supporter of the technically-bankrupt U.S. government which was actually paying most of the billions of dollars of debt interest with even more borrowed money.