In the Old Testament passages today we see mistakes. A king rules, he chooses a form of idolatry over God and is taken off the throne.
“In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Assyria, and for three years he besieged it.” (2 Kings 17;1-5 ESV)
“Therefore the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with great force. ” (2 Chronicles 28:5 ESV)
Paul reminds us in Ephesians that we can pray for spiritual strength and therefore not give into temptation. I need that reminder daily. When I look back on things I have done in the past I realize that if I had only prayed for spiritual strength, I might not have made the poor choices I did.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)
This strength is repeated in today’s Psalm.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains may be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Psalms 46:1-3 ESV)
Help us to always remember and take advantage of the fact that “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalms 46:11 ESV)