Summary: Part 5 of 6 of the series, Who’s That? Stories of little known people of the Bible. A characteristic of this King at the beginning of his reign was that he totally relied on God. Yet near the end of his reign he is called foolish! Read on to find out wh
ASA: THE MAN CALLED FOOLISH
Read at beginning of service:
2 Chronicles 15:1-7 (NIV)
1 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
In my study of little known characters of the Bible you may have noticed that these people have come from different walks of life and backgrounds. I began with Lot – the contemporary of Abraham – known as the man who compromised; he was a nomad, a shepherd, at one point of his life a city-dweller and then near the end of his life a cave-dweller. Then there was Nadab & Abihu, who were 2 of the first priests in Israel, ex-slaves, and young men. After them I spoke about Rahab who, it was uncovered is a prostitute – a Canaanite – an innkeeper – a woman of the world, who put her faith in God. Then last week, we looked at Ehud, one of the first judges of Israel (men and woman who became instruments of God’s deliverance for the Israelites when they repented of their sinful ways). Ehud was a handicapped man – hindered in his right hand and a member of one of the (if not the) smallest tribes of Israel. Today, I’m going to continue with this journey through the Bible uncovering some of the little known people and step into the era of Israel’s Kings. Actually, I’m going to skip through a few years of the nation’s history past the time where the single nation of Israel split into two nations, Judah and Israel, and the nation of Judah has a king named Asa.
As I mentioned already, all these characters I’ve talked about so far demonstrate that the Bible is full of the stories of people from all kinds of different walks of life and different life history. It demonstrates the impact that God can have on a life no matter where the person comes from or who the person is. This is one of the reasons why the Bible is relevant for us today. If you look carefully, if you read diligently and if you listen expectantly for the voice of the Spirit you will find a person, a situation, or a lesson or principle that you can identify with and that is applicable to your life.
One of the things written in the New Testament about the Old Testament is found in Romans 15:4,
Romans 15:4 (NIV)
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
It was made clear to those reading Romans that God’s purpose for the writing of the Old Testament with all its stories and teachings is to help us hope in him. And indeed, when we apply this statement to the readers of the whole Bible today (both Old and New Testament) you’ll find that this verse equally applies to our experience with the written word as well. For the Bible does give us hope! It gives us hope that no matter what kind of background or life or situation we find ourselves in – if we seek God we will find Him! He is not going to forsake those who are honestly and earnestly seeking after Him! Indeed, through the most important story ever told – the story of the Messiah, Jesus Christ – is found the greatest hope that man could ever have. The hope of eternal life, the hope of eternal purpose, the hope of eternal love – all of which is only found in God and obtained through a relationship with Him.
I’d like to remind you of the words spoken to the man we will be studying today, these same words were read to us this morning,
2 Chronicles 15:2 (NIV)
2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.