A long time ago there lived a king in the southern kingdom of Judah. His name? King Asa. He took the throne after his father Abijah died. Like most people facing a great challenge, he pursued his moment in history with great zeal. His outstanding achievements proved him successful. Look at what he did!
- He got rid of the things that got in the way of true worship for himself and his kingdom.
- When things got tough—surrounded by a million enemy soldiers—he turned to God and prayed, “…O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” (2 Chron. 14:11). They won by the way!
- He incorporated religious reform to his kingdom. He repaired the altar of the Lord, which had apparently fallen into disrepair (See 2 Chron. 15). He led his kingdom into a renewed covenant to love the Lord with all their heart and all their soul.
- He ousted those who lived unrighteous lives. In his case, King Asa got rid of his grandmother who proved ungodly. Yes, that’s right, his own blood relative. Talk about courage!
Guess what happened as a result of all the things he did? Those who hungered for spiritual purity, those who pursued truth, started streaming into his kingdom. The people honored God, they rejoiced and the land flourished.
King Asa’s story started well, but it doesn’t end here. You see, Baasha king of Israel didn’t like his people leaving to go to King Asa’s kingdom. So as an act of aggression, he built a wall to fortify the border between Israel and Judah.
King Asa took matters into his hands by taking, “…silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the LORD” and bribed an enemy king (Ben-hadad king of Syria) to help him. King Asa’s plan worked and Baasha ceased all work in the southern border to deal with Syria in the north.
Every one celebrating around King Asa that evening heard the loud, slow knock at the door. Hanani the prophet came to deliver a message from God. “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” (2 Chron. 16:7).
Scripture says that Hanani told King Asa he acted foolishly. He reminded King Asa of God’s desire “to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chron. 16:9b). Hanani informed him that from that moment on, his kingdom would experience war.
Asa responded with anger and rage and put the prophet in prison and inflicted cruelties upon all his people. Asa died from disease and scripture says, “Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord…” Sad way to end his moment in history, don’t you think?
What does King Asa’s success teach us?
- We can get rid of idolatry. How? We can put down our “I” anythings and focus on God. We can point others to God in all circumstances and trust Him with the lives of our kids, reminding ourselves daily that He loves them more than we do.
- We can pray like King Asa did, especially when the world attacks our family. God, there’s no one like you to help our family. Help us, O Lord, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this hostile world that wants to destroy our family.
- We can encourage obedience to the Lord daily presenting our lives as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God (Romans 12). And we can courageously eliminate the things that will lead us to the things of this world.
What does King Asa’s end teach us?
- Without God’s help, we will act foolishly. We live in a hostile world that resists the Word of God. We will constantly be at war with it. We need God every moment of our lives.
- God remains on a surveying mission to find those who need support. Look in verse 9! His support is divine. God looks for those whose heart belong completely to Him.
- Just because you begin well, doesn’t mean you end well. Check your heart daily—every minute of every day and trust in God.
This is your moment in time. You started with zeal. You prepared well, read all the books, studied. You pursued this great task with great enthusiasm. How will this moment end for you? Check your heart! When things get hard, who will you depend on? Remember, God continually looks for you.