Summary: Four things we can learn from King Asa's mistakes. Even though he was fully committed to God all his life he still made mistakes and errors in judgment.
February 20, 2011
“At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” 2 Chronicles 16:7-9
King Asa was one of the very best kings in Israel’s history. He was a good man. The Bible says that he did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord. The Bible says that King Asa’s heart was fully committed to God all the days of his life. ( 1 Kings 15:14) But King Asa was not perfect. His ‘heart’ was – but his actions sure fell short a number of times. He cleaned up the temple and got rid of the false idols his forefathers had brought into the land. All who would not seek the Lord were put to death. He even kicked his grandmother out of her position as Queen Mother - because she worshipped false gods.
Asa loved God and was very zealous for Him. He is without a doubt one of the good kings of Israel. But He made a few mistakes. I want us to think about some of those mistakes so we may learn from them.
One great mistake,1. he made is that he placed his trust in man instead of God. Listen to how that happened.
“In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah. Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
That seems like a pretty reasonable thing to do. You see the enemy coming so you make a treaty with a friendly nation to help you defend yourself. Jesus indicated that was simply a wise thing to do. He said,
“…suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”
Jesus indicated we ought to be prepared. We ought to evaluate and think ahead. The problem is that King Asa relied on man and not God. We ought to think ahead, anticipate, evaluate and make plans. That’s okay. That’s a good thing to do. The problem is that Asa trusted his welfare to men and not to God. In other words, he did not have enough faith in God. So this is what happened.
“At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
There are a number of lessons we are to learn here. First of all, don’t trust in man. Trust in God. Why? God is powerful – certainly. But also, understand, 2. that God longs to come to your rescue. David wrote:
“The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” Psalm 14:2
Our Scripture says, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
Do you realize that God is looking, He is searching, He is hoping to find someone whose heart if fully committed to Him so He can help them? God wants to help you with your problems. He longs to come to your rescue and prove Himself strong and more than a match for whatever you face. Our problem is that we don’t allow Him to do that. Asa’s problem was that he went to people for help instead of going to prayer. We do the same thing. We trust in just about any other resource to help us, other than God. If we have financial problems - we max out our credit cards or take out a loan or put ourselves in hawk up to our necks. We spend what should be our tithe because we think we can’t afford to give it – and then wonder why we aren’t being blessed financially. Can God bless a lack of faith? Can God reward a lack of belief in Him? I don’t think so. So here is lesson number two.