Jun 25 (1 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 13-16) King Asa’s story shines brightly in comparison to so many other kings. “Asa did what was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father” (1 Kgs. 15:11). Asa was compared to David, and not to Jeroboam! An army from Ethiopia that was almost twice the size of Asa’s army, and which had 300 chariots, came against Judah. Asa prayed: “We trust in You … O LORD, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.” God heard his prayer and delivered His people from the enemy.
Another situation arose for Judah when they were threatened by Israel. Israel was a much smaller threat than Ethiopia had been, but this time, instead of going to God, Asa made an alliance with another enemy, the king of Syria, in order to defeat his brothers in Israel. In so doing, he allowed his real enemy to escape. God sent a prophet to Asa, who asked: “Were not the Ethiopians an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand.” The prophet told Asa that his mistake would have consequences: “You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”
The prophet’s words from God indicate that Asa’s heart had not been in the right place. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Ch. 16:9, NIV). We read that, before this happened, “Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life” (15:17, NIV). Something changed in Asa’s heart, and he missed out on the greater victory that God had planned for him. This is a reminder that our commitment to our Lord must be a daily discipline. Jesus said: “(My disciple must) take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23).
– Al Gary