Eagles and Underdogs
I might have to add just one more to yesterday's list of scriptures. I'm not sure that this one would come in first place, but I certainly like it:
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31, RSV)
The anthem in church today was based on this text, and I really like Michael Joncas's version of the scripture (which is what the choir sang):
And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.
The scripture that I mentioned that I couldn't find yesterday was this:
Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, "LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you." (2 Chronicles 14:11, NIV)
As I mentioned before, I am trying to pull a scripture out of each week's reading to look at a little more closely as I make my way through the Bible, and for some reason, this is the one that has stuck with me.
Asa was a king of Judah. He "did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God." As a sidenote, have you noticed in Kings and Chronicles how each king kind of gets a "grade" at the beginning of his section of scripture? It kind of clues the reader in -- "bad king" or "good king." Anyway, Asa find himself in a battle againt Zerah the Cushite, who has a "vast army" and 300 chariots. Wow. They take up their battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah. Before the fighting begins, Asa speaks to God, and he says the prayer I've quoted above.
I'm not sure why this particular scripture has captured my attention, but it brings to mind a few thoughts:
- Asa prays before the battle. I so often forget to pray, that this is a good reminder.
- "There is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty." Asa had to be frightened. He has 500,000 men with shields, spears and bows, so Zerah's army must have been something to see. Even in his fear, he is ready to do battle, but not before reminding God that he is the underdog, and could use some help.
- "We rely on you...you are our God." I'm not sure if Asa is reminding God or himself. I could certainly stand to be reminded of this sometimes.
The prayer must have been a good one. The Lord strikes down the Cushites before the battle even begins. They flee, only to be chased and defeated by Asa's army. (It's Chronicles; there had to be a battle -- there is always a battle.)
I like how the two scriptures relate -- the one from Isaiah and this one from 2 Chronicles. Maybe it's good I waited to post about the 2 Chronicles text today instead of yesterday.