2 Chronicles 16:12
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.
God hurt King Asa's feelings so badly that Asa chose death over trust in God. Asa had been a great man with a great trust in God; but God publicly corrected Asa. I do not think Asa ever forgave God for correcting him.
God also corrected King David publicly, and David was humbled before the entire nation, but David then humbled his heart before the Lord and accepted God's correction. David accepted that to be a teacher he also must be taught even though he was a king. To be a ruler, he must be ruled.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Father, I am not great like Asa or David, but I am in danger of being unteachable. I pray with David, "Sustain me with a willing spirit." Guard me against that pride of self that prevents humility, makes men unteachable, and disqualifies even the greatest of Your servants.
1 Corinthians 9:27
But I discipline my body and make it my slave,
so that, after I have preached to others,
I myself will not be disqualified.
====== Diseased Feet and Trust in Christ ========
By Hudson Taylor
" A short time before leaving for China it became my daily duty to dress the foot of a patient suffering from senile gangrene. The disease commenced as usual insidiously, and the patient had little idea that he was a doomed man and probably had not long to live. I was not the first to attend him, but when the case was transferred to me I naturally became very anxious about his soul. The family with whom he lived were Christians, and from them I learned that he was an avowed atheist and very antagonistic to anything religious. They had without asking his consent invited a Scripture reader to visit him, but in great passion he had ordered him from the room. The Vicar of the district had also called, hoping to help him, but he had spit in his face and refused to allow him to speak. His temper was described to me as very violent, and altogether the case seemed as hopeless as could well be imagined;
" Upon first commencing to attend him I prayed much about it, but for two or three days said nothing of a religious nature. By special care in dressing his diseased limb I was able considerably to lessen his sufferings, and he soon began to manifest appreciation of my services. One day with a trembling heart I took advantage of his grateful acknowledgments to tell him what was the spring of my action, and to speak of his solemn position and need of God's mercy through Christ. It was evidently only a powerful effort of self-restraint that kept his lips closed. He turned over in bed with his back to me, and uttered no word;
" I could not get the poor man out of my mind, and very often through each day I pleaded with God, by His Spirit, to save him ere He took him hence. After dressing the wound and relieving the pain, I never failed to say a few words to him which I hoped the Lord would bless. He always turned his back looking annoyed, but never made any reply.
" After continuing this for some time my heart sank. It seemed to me that I was not only doing no good but perhaps really hardening him and increasing his guilt. One day after dressing his limb and washing my hands, instead of returning to the bedside, I went to the door and stood hesitating a moment with the thought in my mind, ` Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone.' Looking at my patient I saw his surprise, as it was the first time since opening the subject that I had attempted to leave without saying a few words for my Master.
" I could bear it no longer.. Bursting into tears, I crossed the room and said : 'My friend, whether you will hear or whether you will forbear, I must deliver my soul,' and went on to speak very earnestly, telling him how much I wished that he would let me pray with him,. To my unspeakable joy he did not turn away, but replied
"'If it will be a relief to you, do.'
" I need scarcely say that falling upon my knees I poured out my soul to God on his behalf. Then and there, I believe, the Lord wrought a change in his soul. He was never afterwards unwilling to be spoken to and prayed with, and within a few days he definitely accepted Christ as his Saviour. " Oh the joy it was to me to see that dear man rejoicing in hope of the glory of God ! He told me that for forty years he had never darkened the door of a church or chapel, and that then, forty years ago, he had only entered a place of worship to be married, and could not be persuaded to go inside when his wife was buried. Now, thank God, his sin-stained soul I had every reason to believe was washed, was sanctified, was `justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.' Often in my early work in China, when circumstances rendered me almost hopeless of success, I have thought of this man's conversion and have been encouraged to persevere in speaking the Word, whether men would hear or whether they would forbear.
For me to live is Christ.