Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary

Verses 9-15 (2 Chronicles 14:9-15)

Here is, I. Disturbance given to the peace of Asa?s kingdom by a formidable army of Ethiopians that invaded them, 2 Chron. 14:9, 10. Though still they sought God, yet this fear came upon them, that their faith in God might be tried, and that God might have an opportunity of doing great things for them. It was a vast number that the Ethiopians brought against him: 1,000,000 men; and now he found the benefit of having an army ready raised against such a time of need. That provision which we thought needless may soon appear to be of great advantage.

II. The application Asa made to God on occasion of the threatening cloud which now hung over his head, 2 Chron. 14:11. He that sought God in the day of his peace and prosperity could with holy boldness cry to God in the day of his trouble, and call him his God. His prayer is short, but has much in it. 1. He gives to God the glory of his infinite power and sovereignty: It is nothing with thee to help and save by many or few, by those that are mighty or by those that have no power. See 1 Sam. 14:6. God works in his own strength, not in the strength of instruments (Ps. 21:13), nay, it is his glory to help the weakest and to perfect strength out of the mouth of babes and sucklings. ?We do not say, Lord, take our part, for we have a good army for thee to work by; but, take our part, for without thee we have no power.? 2. He takes hold of their covenant-relation to God as theirs. O Lord, our God! and again, ?Thou art our God, whom we have chosen and cleave to as ours, and who hast promised to be ours.? 3. He pleads their dependence upon God, and the eye they had to him in this expedition. He was well prepared for it, yet trusted not to his preparations; but, ?Lord, we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude, by warrant from thee, aiming at thy glory, and trusting to thy strength.? 4. He interests God in their cause: ?Let not man? (mortal man, so the word is) ?prevail against thee. If he prevail against us, it will be said that he prevails against thee, because thou art our God, and we rest on thee and go forth in thy name, which thou hast encouraged us to do. The enemy is a mortal man; make it to appear what an unequal match he is for an immortal God. Lord, maintain thy own honour; hallowed by thy name.?

III. The glorious victory God gave him over his enemies. 1. God defeated the enemy, and put their forces into disorder (2 Chron. 14:12): The Lord smote the Ethiopians, smote them with terror, and an unaccountable consternation, so that they fled, and knew neither why nor whither. 2. Asa and his soldiers took the advantage God gave them against the enemy. (1.) They destroyed them. They fell before the Lord (for who can stand before him?) and before his host, either an invisible host of angels that were employed to destroy them or the host of Israel, called God?s host because owned by him. (2.) They took the plunder of their camp, carried away very much spoil from the slain and from the baggage. (3.) They smote the cities that were in league with them, to which they fled for shelter, and carried off the spoil of them (2 Chron. 14:14); and they were not able to make any resistance, for the fear of the Lord came upon them, that is, a fear which God struck them with to such a degree that they had no heart to withstand the conquerors. (4.) They fetched away the cattle out of the enemy?s country, in vast numbers, 2 Chron. 14:15. Thus the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

- Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary