It is often said, desperate times call for desperate measures. But as Christians we should be careful that our desperation doesn’t lead us to throw caution to the wind or become fools that rush in when it comes to seeking the help or counsel of shady characters. In 2 Chronicles 25, King Amaziah was in that type of situation.
In preparation to battle the Edomites with Judah’s army, Amaziah thought he should enlist the help of Israel’s military:
…He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.
And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this. Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: wherefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in great anger. 2 Chron. 25:6-10
Jehovah cared enough about Amaziah to send a prophet to warn him about the imprudent partnership with Israel since Israel was a nation full of wickedness and idolatry. Amaziah was warned that if he moved forward in battle under the military agreement with Israel, God would see to it that he would lose the battle. Then to calm the king’s concerns over how much money he spent to acquire Israel’s help, the Lord told Amaziah he would be blessed way beyond the loss of money. So Amaziah obeyed, causing great offense and anger to the Israelite soldiers, but in the end he won and offending those soldiers for the sake of obeying Jehovah was worth it.
It pays to to consult God first when we are facing a major battle to find out how he wants us to proceed. Sometimes we jump ahead into egregious alliances and discover later we have to backtrack to sever the alliance after wasting time and resources. This happened to a church I attended in the past. They wanted to build a new building and enlisted the help of a secular organization to become part owner with them to pay for it. The organization, as part owner, was free to use part of their facilities. Years later, the partnership took a nosedive when the church sought permission from the city council to expand their ministry. The secular organization openly opposed their plans. Their partnership ended with many people on both sides offended, but eventually the church prevailed.
Another ministry I participated in to help college students was in partnership with the United Methodists. Eventually, the United Methodists demanded acceptance of the gay lifestyle from this ministry and others in partnership with them, so the ministry I was in, wanting to remain obedient to the Lord, severed ties with the United Methodists and soon found better arrangements with another ministry.
Should we rely on secular entities to help us accomplish things in ministry (2 Cor. 6:14-15)? Are the strings attached worth it? Do we seek their help due to a lack of faith in God? Could it be that we think we can only be guaranteed a victory based on the number of people we can recruit–whether sacred or secular? Have we examined individuals thoroughly enough that are given positions/influence in our ministry to make sure they are spiritually aligned correctly? Are we allowing our hopes in the promises of political parties and their candidates or politicians get so high that we place more faith in them than we do in the Lord? These are some questions I’ve had to ask myself at times to ensure my focus and discernment are correct.