The story of King Asa of Judah is such an interesting and sad story.
King Asa did well in Judah. He turned to God, depended on God, and reformed Judah to serve God.
He turned away from idols, and destroyed temples of idols and all the Asherah poles erected. He even removed the Asherah image his mother erected.
King Asa’s heart was in the right place. He truly sought God and helped turn Judah to God during his reign.
The Bible even recorded in 2 Chronicles 14 verse 17 that “the heart of Asa was loyal all his days”. Asa depended on God and God gave him rest for most of his reign.
However, it all changed in the 36th year of his reign as king of Judah.
King Baasha of Israel wanted to fight the people of Judah (Asa’s people). King Asa decided to form a treaty with the king of Syria to help him fight Baasha and it worked.
2 chapters before this treaty with the king of Syria, God had helped king Asa fight against the Ethiopians. The armies of Judah were greatly outnumbered by the Ethiopian armies (2:1). Yet Asa sought God and asked God to help him (2 Chronicles 14:11; which was a beautiful prayer btw) and God showed up greatly.
In 2 Chronicles chapter 16, when king Baasha came against the people of Judah, why didn’t Asa seek God who had always been faithful to him? Why didn’t he seek the help of God whom he had sworn to serve and had created all those reforms for and destroyed idols and shrines for?
What made him forget?
Why did he go to the Assyrian king?
It all makes me think of how God has shown up for us time and time again, I mean, we’ve seen His goodness, His faithfulness, and His hand upon us.
We’ve seen God do great and marvelous things. We know He can do anything, yet for some reason, we’re so scared, or maybe we don’t remember (whatever reason it is), we go seeking solutions by ourselves and not asking God to help us.
We all do it, I do it.
I can be so scared that even though I say I’m trusting God, I’m calculating in my head and making plans. I’m like, if this doesn’t happen at this time, here’s what I’ll do just to be safe.
I think maybe, king Asa was so overwhelmed by the situation with king Bashaa, that he thought of a solution in his wisdom without even thinking that God can, and has always helped him.
When Hanani the seer came to Asa, he told him what God had said. God was not happy Asa didn’t seek Him but went to the Assyrian king.
In 2 Chronicles 16:7-9, God reminded Asa of how He had always come through for him and delivered him. God also told him that because of what he had done, he will have wars (God had given king Asa rest and protected him, but it was withdrawn as a consequence of what he did).
Guess Asa’s response to the message of God brought by Hanani?
Why? Why was king Asa so angry?
You know what he did next?
“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 Chronicles 16:10 NKJV
I don’t get it.
God is so merciful and Asa must have seen that in the way God deals with the Israelites.
Every time the Israelites asked God for mercy and truly sought Him with their heart, God always showed mercy.
I was thinking, if I were king Asa, as soon as Hanani gave me the message, I’ll ask for mercy with my heart. This is something David knew how to do. Anytime he was wrong or had sinned, he would genuinely repent and ask for mercy and God would show him mercy.
But for some reason, Asa didn’t ask God for mercy; this God that he had served for the first 35 years of his reign. You would think he at least knew God.
It all just reminds me of how we deal with God sometimes. It’s almost like we forget the God we serve (or use to serve). It’s like something changes and we don’t turn to God for some reason.
Not only was Asa angry and locked up Hanani, he just never sought God till he died.
See what the Bible says:
“And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease, he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign.”2 Chronicles 16:12-13 NKJV
I wonder what changed.
Was he stubborn, angry, or proud? What was it?
35 years of serving God.
He spent the last 7 years not seeking God, even when he was ill.