DCLM Daily Manna 2023: DCLM Daily Manna 23 April 2023: Pyrrhic victory
Key Verse: “Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.” – (2 Chronicles 16:6)
TEXT: 2 Chronicles 16:1-14
16 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
3 There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
4 And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.
5 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.
6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.
7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine hand.
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.
11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.
13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.
14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.
Merriam Webster dictionary defines Pyrrhic victory as “a victory that is not worth winning because so much is lost to achieve it”. The word comes from the name of Pyrrhus, a long-ago king of Epirus, who suffered heavy losses in defeating the Romans at Asculum in Apulia in 279 BC. A pyrrhic victory then is actually a defeat in the end.
Such was the experience of Asa the king of Judah who went into an alliance with Benhadad, the king of Syria, to fight Baasha, the king of Israel. With the assistance of the Syrian king, Asa won the battle over Israel. However, God was not happy that he sought human help when he could have called on the Lord. God, therefore, sent Hanani, the prophet, to point out his errors, Unfortunately, King Asa complicated matters by arresting the prophet and by taking other oppressive measures against his citizens.
Divine retribution was swift. “Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12). The physicians could not help him, for two years later, he died. He was a good starter but a poor finisher.
Life is not all about gold and silver. It is wrong to think like Asa that the end will always justify the means. God must be our greatest priority. You cannot trust the arm of flesh and expect a lasting victory. It is better to get God on your side here on earth. You cannot serve Satan on earth and expect eternal life with Him in heaven.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: The Christian doesn’t win “at all costs” – he wins only through God.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Romans 7-9
Thank you for studying today’s Daily Manna – Pyrrhic Victory – by Pastor W.F Kumuyi
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Daily Manna 23 April 2023