Preparing for Battle in Times of Peace

The time to prepare for battle is not when the enemy shows up at your door with a million soldiers—twice what you have in your army. In 2 Chronicles 14:9, “Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and he came to Mareshah.” Asa is King over Judah so he goes out to meet Zerah, “and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah (NASB).”Fortunately, Asa had been preparing for this moment for years—readying himself for such a moment.

There is much we can learn about Asa’s preparations in our own life, knowing that as we deepen our faith in Jesus, the attacks will come. “The first thing Asa did was to get rid of all the idol worship in Judah. he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment (14:3-4).” As Paul wrote, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).”

During the time of peace, when he was not at war, Asa fortified his defenses. “For he said to Judah, ‘Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.’ So they built and prospered (8).” Judah used the time of peace to prepare for enemy attacks. They did not sit idle and just enjoy their prosperity.

Likewise, we too should not be idle during times of peace in our life. We need to be aware that as a followers of Jesus, we are targets of the evil one. We need to prepare for battle by removing the sin in our life and fortifying our defenses by studying scripture and building relationships with other believers. As Ephesians 6:11 reminds us, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” When the battle lines were drawn against the Ethiopians, Asa’s prayer to God wasn’t just empty words, they were backed by an active faith that sought to deepen his and Judah’s relationship with God:

© 2023, Chris G. Thelen

4 thoughts on “Preparing for Battle in Times of Peace

  1. Chris, your discussion encourages us to remain faithful in our daily actions, which strengthen our relationship with God. When darkness comes knocking, we will be prepared.

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