Asa follows Abijam as king of Judah; King Asa's reforms; his covenant with God and doing right in the eyes of the Lord; then he turns away from God and he is warned by the prophet Azariah (II Chr. 15:7); rebuked by Hanani. Asa dies (16:13) and his son Jehoshaphat reigned in his stead (17:1).
When Zerah, the Ethiopian king, declared war on the Southern Kingdom of Judah, King Asa and the nation of Judah were faced with a million soldiers who had 300 chariots — the largest army recorded in the Old Testament (14:9). And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go against this multitude. O Lord, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee. So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled (14:11-12).
Asa and his small army could have slept in and just left their impossible problems in the hands of their great God. But God always expects us to do what we can and the Lord will then make up the difference. It is not surprising that as Asa and his outnumbered army fought, the Lord smote the Ethiopians.
Asa then led the people to renew their covenant with the Lord to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death. . . . And all Judah rejoiced at the oath . . . and sought Him with their whole desire; and He was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about (15:12,15).
Asa and the Kingdom of Judah enjoyed many years of prosperity. Later when Baasha, King of Israel, became a threat to his border cities, Asa should have prayed. Instead, he gave silver and gold out of the treasures of the House of the Lord (16:2) to Ben-hadad, King of Syria, to declare war on Israel. This marked a spiritual decline in Asa's life (16:10-13). Asa's wealth became his weakness and he felt no need to rely on God.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).
Asa is a warning. Too often we tend to rely on our money and influence with other people instead of depending on God — even though we have received answers to prayer in the past. An independent attitude of self-sufficiency has its root in pride and can destroy our trust in the Lord.
Thought for Today:
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness (II Pet. 3:17).
Through the rest that God gave Judah (II Chr. 14:7). Jesus pleads: Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).
14:15 tents of cattle =b> tents of the cattle herders; 15:5 vexations =b> disturbances, troubles, turmoil; 15:16 mother =b> grandmother; stamped it =b> crushed it to dust; 16:14 sepulchres =b> tombs; 17:12 waxed great exceedingly =b> became increasingly powerful; castles =b> fortresses, strongholds.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Government Officials: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY) • Country: Lesotho (2 million) within the east-central part of the Republic of South Africa • Major languages: Sesotho and English • Limited religious freedom • 43% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 6% ancestor worship, divination, and spirit-possession cults • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to enable you to endure temptation (James 1:12).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 12
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:6