Lessons from the Reign of Asa

Text: I Kings 15:8-24

 

I.         Asa’s reign was the third in Judah since the great division of Israel during the reign of Rehoboam

            A.        His father, Abijam, only reigned three years.

                        1.         Abijam was not a good king as the Lord counts goodness - I Kings 15:3

                        2.         In fact, the most notable thing about Abijam was that he managed to raise a good son - I Kings 15:4

                        3.         This, we are told was because of God’s promise to David.

            B.        Asa’s reign began peacefully - II Chronicles 14:1-6

                        1.         He removed many idols and decreed that the worship of God be followed

                        2.         He strengthened Judah’s cities.

                        3.         He had one major battle with an army from Ethiopia during his tenth year of reigning

                                    a.         Though he was out numbered about 2 to 1, he turned to God and was saved - II Chronicles 14:11-12

            C.        God promised Asa to be with him as long as he remained faithful - II Chronicles 15:1-7

            D.        As a result, Asa threw himself into the work of purifying Judah - II Chronicles 15:8

                        1.         People began to flock to him. Many left Israel to return to worshiping God in Judah - II Chronicles 15:9

                        2.         They committed themselves to serving God - II Chronicles 15:12-15

                        3.         Asa did not even let family ties stop him - II Chronicles 15:16

            E.        He wasn’t perfect, but he followed God with his whole heart - II Chronicles 15:17

            F.        Peace continued for another 25 years until Asa’s 35th year in reigning Judah.

                        1.         Baasha, Israel’s king, became frustrated with numbers leaving his territory, so he closed the borders and began building a fortified city - II Chronicles 16:1

                        2.         It is at this time that we see a change in Asa’s attitude. Instead of relying on God’s help, Asa took the wealth of God’s house as well as his own and used it to bribe the king of Aram to attack Israel on the north - II Chronicles 16:2-5

                        3.         God sent a prophet to scold Asa - II Chronicles 16:7-9

                        4.         Asa didn’t like the message, so he threw the messenger into prison - II Chronicles 16:10

            G.        A few years later, Asa feet began to give him trouble - II Chronicles 16:12

                        1.         He was still mad at God and would not seek God’s help.

                        2.         He sought out doctors, but not God

                        3.         Two years later he died - II Chronicles 16:13

II.        Lessons to be learned

            A.        God meant it when he said there was to be no other gods before him - Exodus 20:1-6

                        1.         Not only were idols not to be worshiped, God expects his people to turn to him in times of trouble.

                        2.         It can not be in words only. It must be matched with the life lived - Jeremiah 7:4-11

                        3.         So many today think they can use their own wisdom - I Corinthians 3:18-20

                                    a.         Denominations vote on who they believe is acceptable to God and what laws they will or will not follow.

                                    b.         They justify it by saying we must adapt the Bible to modern society, but isn’t this backwards. Does not society need to adapt itself to the ways of God?

                        4.         Even family must not stand between a man and his God.

            B.        Trusting God means seeking God’s solution in all things

                        1.         Asa strayed when he began solving his problems with his own solutions.

                        2.         Proverbs 3:5-7 - Trust God, not yourself

                        3.         Man is not designed to direct his own way - Jeremiah 10:23

                        4.         Roman 12:16 - Do not be wise in your own estimation

            C.        Be willing to listen to rebuke

                        1.         A wise man listens to correction - Proverbs 13:1

                        2.         Learning from a rebuke will make a deeper and more lasting impression - Luke 17:10

                        3.         When we see someone straying, we must be willing to rebuke them - Luke 17:3

                        4.         Such, done in love, shows true love - Proverbs 27:5

                        5.         Asa was a fool not to listen to the warning from God and then to treat God’s messenger with such contempt.

            D.        Be willing to repent of past mistakes

                        1.         Some reported to Jesus the evil done by others. Jesus used the occasion to warn them about their own needs - Luke 13:1-5

                                    a.         So often we see the evils done by others and then congratulate ourselves for being better.

                                    b.         Why is it that our own sins are always less than someone else’s?

                                    c.         Sin is sin. My sins can keep me out of heaven just as much as yours can keep you out of heaven.

                        2.         All men, everywhere need to repent - Acts 17:30