- 2 Chron. 14:1b-8
- 1 Kings 14:19-20; 15:25-26, 31, 27-30, 33-34
- 2 Chron. 14:9-15; 15:1-8, 17-19, 9-16
- 1 Kings 15:16-22
- 2 Chron. 16:7-10
- 1 Kings 16:7, 1-6, 8, 14, 9-10, 15a, 11-13, 20, 15b-19, 21, 31a, 22-29; 21:25-26; 16:34
- 2 Chron. 16:12, 11, 13-14
- 1 Kings 15:24b; 22:41-43, 46-47
- 2 Chron. 20:32-33; 17:2-13a; 18:1a; 17:13b-19
- 1 Kings 22:44
Despite the evil of Rehoboam and his son Abijah, the next two kings of Judah did what was right in the sight of GOD, following after their forefather David. Asa reformed Judah by removing the idols throughout the land and commanding the people to serve Jehovah. Asa strengthened the fortifications of the cities in the land as well as the army. As Judah was preparing to go to war with a large army of Ethiopians, Asa asked GOD to help and He provided the victory. Afterward, the Holy Spirit said thru Azariah the prophet:
“Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7 But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”
(2 Chron. 15:2b-7 NKJV)
Asa even went as far as to remove his grandmother from her position as queen mother because she had made an idol called an Asherah pole. He repaired the altar of the LORD at the front of the temple.
Unfortunately, not all was positive in Asa’s life. Like all of us, he made mistakes. In one situation, when Israel and Judah were at odds, Asa took the remaining treasures from the temple and from his palace and send an official to the king of Aram in Damascus (north of Israel) with an offering to convince the king to ally with Judah and break their treaty with Israel. Rather than trusting in GOD, Asa trusted in men for protection. GOD was displeased and sent a seer to Asa with a message.
“Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. 8 Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.
(2 Chron. 16:7b-10 NKJV)
Sadly, there is no indication that Asa repented of this sin. Later he suffered a severe disease in his feet, but he refused to ask help of the LORD and, instead, only relied upon the Jewish physicians. Despite these faults, Asa was a good king and he reigned 41 years in Judah. His son Jehoshaphat reigned after him. He followed in Asa’s footsteps in serving the LORD and further improved the morality of the nation of Judah. The people prospered during the leadership of Asa and Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat had the priests teach the people the law throughout Judah. GOD gave the land of Judah peace during Jehoshaphat’s reign.
An important lesson for us is that it is up to each of us, regardless of our circumstances, to choose to walk with GOD. Asa’s father did evil, but somehow Asa learned what was right and had a heart to follow GOD. Jehoshaphat’s father was a good example and Jehoshaphat walked in his dad’s footsteps to do well. GOD blessed them as a result. If your father is (or was) evil, serve the LORD. If your father is (or was) good, rejoice, and serve the LORD. Thankfully GOD doesn’t hold us responsible for our parents. We didn’t choose to be born to our mom and dad, but we each have the same choice to follow after GOD. We can do that, regardless of our background or circumstances.