In his first 10 years, King Asa, the king of Judah, was one of the few kings who did what was right in God’s sight. But it is interesting, sometime after his first 10 years, God sends the Prophet Azariah to give Asa this warning and prophetic word.
Asa responds to the prophet’s warning by removing all false idols that exist in the land, and he required that all the people in the nation to do the same. Asa did what was right in the sight of the LORD. As a result, THERE WAS NO WAR FOR 35 YEARS in his province (See 2 Chronicles 15:2; 8-19).
But something happened that changed things for King Asa and his nation. In chapter 16 of 2 Chronicles, we see a turn of events. In verse 12, after 39 years of his reign, Asa becomes ill. He develops a disease in his feet. It was so bad that eventually, this disease took his life. On top of this, war had entered his district in his 36th year as king. Let’s look at what changed things for Asa and his nation. How did he go from God being his protector, source, and provider to losing control over his kingdom and the loss of his life?
God’s warning to his leader
King Bassha, the king of Israel, decided to come up against Asa. In response to this attack, Asa made a calculated error.
Remember at 2 Chronicles chapter 15, verse 2, God warned Asa through His prophet Azariah, if Asa seeks Him (God) first for everything that God will take care of, protect, and provide for Asa and his kingdom. But if Asa seeks the hand of another to provide for him, then God will forsake Asa. He would remove His hand of protection, provision, and support. So, what did Asa do when the king of Israel came up against him? Did Asa seek out the LORD as he was instructed to do by the Prophet Azariah?
According to 2 Chronicles 16:2-3, Asa took some of the silver and gold from the treasurers of the LORD and the king’s house and sent it to Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, and asked that they form a treaty between the two nations. In turn, Asa asked Ben-hadad to break his treaty with Baasha, the king of Israel, so that King Bassha would retreat from attacking King Asa’s nation. What a foolish mistake by Asa!
Shortly, after this political move by Asa, he believed he and his nation was safe because King Baasha did cease his attacks against Judah after King Asa and King Ben-hadad formed a treaty between their nations. And King Bassha’s retreat allowed Asa to strengthen his defense against future attacks. (See 2 Chronicles 16:5-6). But God sends his prophet Hanani who gave Asa this firm rebuke.
Sand in his ear
How did Asa respond to the rebuke and counsel of the LORD through His prophet – His chosen vessel?
Asa rejected the correction FROM THE LORD. We must be mindful that this rebuke WAS NOT from the Prophet Hanani. But Hanani was only a vessel the LORD had chosen to use to express His displeasure with King Asa. And in response to God’s correction, King Asa became upset and rejected the word of the LORD and had God’s prophet thrown into prison (2 Chronicles 16:7-10).
What a turn of events. It is now as if King Asa HAS SAND IN HIS EARS because he no longer can receive, recognize, or hear correction from the LORD through His servants. What were the results that befall Asa after the missteps, bad decisions, these premeditated acts?
In his 39th year as king of Judah, it said that King Asa ended up developing a disease in his feet. This disease in his feet was so severe that the king needed help – an intervention to correct his situation. But again, instead of SEEKING GOD, the Scriptures say, he sought out physicians. As a result, King Asa died a very painful death in his 41st year as king (2 Chronicles 16:12-13).
What lesson we can learN
Because King Asa stopped seeking the LORD first for whatever he needed, he lost his wealth, his health, and all that God blessed him with. The prophetic word given concerning him came to pass.
King Asa left the love he had at first for another. He sought out the limited power, authority, resources, finances, abilities, and capabilities of man for his help and support instead of God. As a result, God removed Himself from the life and livelihood of King Asa; which resulted in the downfall of a king, who once did everything that was good in God’s sight.
We all can start off strong in the LORD, and spend 30, 40, 50 years serving the LORD strong. But none of that will matter in the end if we do not FINISH the race strong and possess the favor of the LORD (2 Timothy 4:7).
King Asa is a practical example of what could happen to us if we failed to treasure the written word of the Bible, which is written, that is the life story and events of men, women, nations, and tribes of people, to warn us who are living in the end times (1 Corinthians 10:11).
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The word of the lord
When the LORD God gives a word, it is for the sole purpose to teach, reproof, correct, or train His servants - His Body, so that every member within the Body of Christ may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). For the LORD has given the Body of Christ apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the Saints for the work of service, to encourage one another, and to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).