July 6, 2016
1 Kings 15-Part 3
He sent it...1 Kings 15:18
LET IT GLOW
Do you know people who get angry when they don't get their way and scheme to bring it about? At any cost, at other's cost, not matter who or what is destroyed, they must have their way. How sad. Today, the godly Asa, king of Judah, turns to men and not God. He schemes to get his way. Do we?
Asa was a good king of Judah, which was a welcome after all those years of evil rulers they had. He attempted to take away the sins established by Rehoboam. He even deposed his own mother because she was an idol worshiper. There was a brief period of rest and revival under Asa's leadership. Sad to say, his reign did not end as well as it began, for he trusted in men for protection and failed to trust in the Lord. (Wiersbe)
Many people living in Israel left and moved to Judah during Asa's reign when they saw the LORD his God was with him. King Asa repaired the altar of the Lord, which stood at the entry room of the Temple. In Judah, they sacrificed to the LORD 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep and goats from the plunder they had taken in the battle. Also, gold and silver was taken into the Temple. They even took an oath to the Lord declaring their faithfulness to Him. King Asa's heart remained completely faithful throughout his life, according to 2 Chronicles 15:17.
The people sought after God and found Him (2 Chronicles 15:15), as God had said earlier through Azariah. The Lord gave Judah rest from their enemies on every side. Sounds like a wonderful place and time to live, doesn't it?
LET IT GROW
On the other hand, there was a constant war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel, who replaced Nadab after Jeroboam. Sounds like Baasha was tired of loosing his people by their moving into Judah. so he captured the city of Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving Judah.
How did King Asa respond?
- He devised a plan, starting with the removing all the silver and gold left in the treasuries of the Temple and the royal palace.
- He sent it and some officials to the king of Aram, Ben-hadad, who was ruling Damascus with a message.
- The message asked for a treaty between the two kings and Ben-hadad to break his treaty with King Baasha of Israel so he'd leave Asa alone. Really? An ungodly alliance? What happened to your heart Asa? Where is your faith in the Lord to protect you?
- Ben-hadad agreed and sent commanders of his army to attack those Israeli cities that Baasha had captured. It worked. As soon as Baasha heard what was happening, he abandoned his project of fortifying Ramah and withdrew.
- Then Asa sent word in Judah that everyone was required to help carry away the building stones and timbers of Baasha had been using to fortify Ramah. He used those materials to fortify the cities of Geba and Mizpah
King Asa was told by Hanani that since he trusted in men for protection instead of trusting in the Lord, he blew the chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Because he had earlier relied upon the Lord Asa was given victory. Because Asa had acted foolishly, he was going to have wars
from then on. Asa had Hanani put in stock in prison because of his angry reaction to this message. He also began to oppress some of his people. My goodness, what a turn around, Asa.
2 Chronicles 16:9a says For the eyes of the LORD run to and from throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.
Does God find us faithful when He looks for faithful ones serving and praising Him?
Is our heart strengthened by Him because it is fully committed to Him?
LET IT GO
Learn from Asa and not scheme to override God's plans for me.
Keep my heart committed to doing God's work His way.