Let me BEGIN this post by saying my book is finally out and you can order it today:
I’m very proud of that work and would love to help you move with God!
Back to our Bible Study:
One thing is certain with the Kings of Israel and Judah: they all fail in the end. There is not one king who does what is right and just the entire time he rules. Such is the case also of Asa who began his reign in righteousness and continued that way for a very large portion of it but he too failed the people by failing to trust in the Lord.
What’s amazing is that it was not some great threat against Asa that derailed him. In fact, it was Israel to the North who threatened him and sent him scurrying off to a foreign leader for political favors:
2 Chronicles 16:1 (ESV) In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
If you remember one chapter ago, people from the Northern kingdom of Israel were migrating to the southern kingdom of Judah because of Asa’ reforms and God’s presence among the people he led:
2 Chronicles 15:9 (ESV) And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
We are made to be with God. When our leaders fail to bring us there, we will migrate wherever it could happen. Now Asa has seen this first hand! He has seen the benefits of serving the Lord. You have to wonder what could cause him to stop trusting the Lord who established him in such a way and fear the threats of a kingdom whose population was already moving toward your side!
2 Chronicles 16:2–3 (ESV) Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the LORD and the king’s house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, 3 “There is a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.”
It is often not the big threats of our lives that impair our spiritual vitality. It is often the small ones. The ones we think we can handle with a little maneuvering. In the large issues of life, we tend to turn radically toward God or run frantically away. But in the small issues, that’s where we can get caught seeking to save ourselves by cunning and craftiness.
Asa turned away from God’s help and as a result, the prophet Hanani comes with God’s rebuke:
2 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV) For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”
Listen to that word again, the Lord seeks throughout the Earth to give strong support to people who trust in Him. Do you believe that? Because it is the ultimate aim of your enemy to get you to doubt it. That way you will do foolish things as Asa did and turn yourself over to foreigners who will not do for you what God can do.
On the other hand, those who have fallen away can find their way back to God. Sadly even Asa had a chance later in life but failed here as well:
2 Chronicles 16:12 (ESV) In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.
What a sad ending to a wonderful king. But his story is instructive for us. We have a king who trusted God through death on a Cross and accomplished our eternal salvation with His own blood. Because Jesus trusted God, we are now able to come boldly into His presence. And when we come, we need not fear that He will fail to keep us safe in the hand of our Father. For He is a perfect unfailing King who guards all who come out of the world and find themselves in Him.
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