Read II Chronicles 14 -- 17
King Asa was the grandson of Rehoboam and the great-grandson of Solomon. But Asa rejected the pagan cults. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God: For he took away the altars of the strange (heathen) gods . . . And commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the Law and the commandment (II Chronicles 14:2-4; 15:12). Asa was greatly encouraged by Azariah the son of Oded (the prophet) (15:1). When Azariah spoke, Asa . . . took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from Mount Ephraim, and he renewed the altar (of burnt offering) of the Lord. . . . And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin. . . . And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul. . . . They had sworn with all their heart, and sought Him with their whole desire; and He was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest (peace) round about. . . . The heart of Asa was perfect all his days (15:8-9,12,15-17).
Asa left no room for compromise. He boldly took away the sodomites (homosexuals) out of the land (I Kings 15:12). He even removed his grandmother Maachah from being queen, because she had made an idol . . . and Asa cut down her idol . . . and burned it at the brook Kidron (15:13; II Chronicles 15:16). Asa could humbly say: Because we have sought the Lord our God . . . He has given us rest (from war for 10 years) (14:1,7).
You can be sure that, when anyone takes a firm stand for moral and spiritual values, Satan will instigate opposition and then seek to bring about a compromise in that person's positive declaration of faith. So, we are not surprised to read: There came out against them (Judah) Zerah the Ethiopian with a host of a thousand thousand (an army of one million men), and three hundred chariots (14:9). This massive army was the second largest recorded in biblical history. However, this did not weaken Asa's faith. He confidently prayed: Help us, O Lord our God; for we rely on You, and in Your Name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You (14:11).
As his wealth and power increased, we read that Asa's dependence upon God decreased: In the thirty-sixth year of Asa's reign, Baasha King of Israel came up against Judah (16:1). This time, instead of praying, Asa made a league with Ben-hadad, King of Syria, to fight the battle for him. Syria had a great victory, but the prophet Hanani boldly rebuked Asa, saying: Because you have relied on the King of Syria, and not relied on the Lord your God, therefore is the host of the King of Syria escaped out of your hand (16:7).
Hanani was put in prison for his faithful witness, but his words have imparted immeasurable faith and boldness to all of us to remain faithful in the midst of a hostile world: The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect (blameless) toward Him (II Chronicles 16:9).
Christ Revealed: Through the rest that God gave Judah (II Chronicles 14:7). Those who have the peace of Christ have rest indeed (John 14:27).
Word Studies: 14:9 Ethiopian means Cushite; 15:16 mother means grandmother; stamped it means crushed it; 16:14 sepulchres means tombs; 17:12 castles means fortresses, strongholds.
Government Officials: Sen. Gordon Smith (OR) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY) · BPM Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for Hermano Pablo Hispanic Ministries · Country: Italy (58 million) in southern Europe · Major languages: Italian and German · Religious freedom · 81% Roman Catholic; .4% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and depend upon the Lord when in need for He will not forsake you (Isaiah 41:17).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 12
Memory Verse for the Week: I Timothy 2:8