“Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you” (16:17). More than anything, God wanted His people to “rely on” Him for defense and resources. King Asa’s alliance with Syria revealed his lack of trust in the Lord, though God had previously helped Judah defeat “huge armies” (16:8). In contrast, his son Jehoshaphat directed the priests to teach God’s Law in Judah’s cities (17:9), and the land had peace both from war and from idolatry.
God wants us to reject false sources of comfort, power, and safety. He gives “strong support” to those who lean fully on Him (16:9).