Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Lesson from Asa

I've been studying (again) the life of Asa. I challenge you to read every passage about him in the Old Testament to get a grip on a life that was pleasing to the LORD - but one that didn't end that way. Asa started out with the right heart - but his heart grew proud, bent and cold before he died a miserable death. God was faithful - Asa wasn't. His life is a strong warning for us to guard our hearts and seek the LORD always.

Asa King of Judah
1 Kings 15:9-15
9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother's name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.
11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his [for] father David had done. 12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made. 13 He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa's heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life. 15 He brought into the temple of the LORD the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated. [emphasis added]

2 Chronicles 16
Asa's Last Years
1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa's reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
2 Asa then took [stole] the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD's temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.

The short of it is that Asa has his own idea (this time) of how to handle the enemies that are coming against him. He steels money from the temple treasury and offers it in a treaty with the enemy. He had always depended on God in the past - always sought God's ways and plans - but this time (he got too smart for his own good) and made his own plans. And they worked - but not without consequences. He patted himself on the back and left God out of the picture from there on out. He is warned by the profit, Hanani concerning his actions.

2 Chronicles 16 - selected
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: "Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8...when you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war." 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. 13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers. [emphasis added]

What lesson are we to learn from Asa?

  • Always seek the LORD in every situation
  • Never forget Who God is and what He has done.
  • Stay close to the LORD and He will stay close to you. [see James 4:8]
  • When confronted with sin or an enemy's pursuit - cry out to God with a broken and sincere heart like Asa's great-great-great grandfather, David did.
Psalm 56 [David's Words]
1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;
all day long they press their attack.
2 My slanderers pursue me all day long;
many are attacking me in their pride.
3 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.

Choosing JOY,


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