Summary: The second of two sermons about King Asa, there are some interesting parallels in this about how we can seek after God's desire for us. Pride, fear, etc can take over and we end up not relying on what God wants for us. He desires to strengthen us.
King Asa, Rely.
Last week, I talked about a King of Judah, by the name of? (Asa) Prior to him the nation of Israel had other kings three reasonably onto it Kings, being who? (Kings Saul, David and Solomon). Then came King Solomon’s son ?, (King Rehoboam who as I mentioned last week was a hard and dictatorial king, who turned away from the Lord God and took his nation with him. ) Then his son King ? (Abidjah). Who was followed by King Asa. Now all of these kings were powerful people and all of them knew about God; but their track records where not always the smartest when it came to doing the will of God.
As I mentioned last week there was quite a change with King Asa and the rest of Judah his nation seeking God in their lives and as a nation. This came about through the prophet Azariah telling King Asa this thing, “If you seek him [him being God] he will be found in you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2b)
You might recall that the Hebrew word for ‘seek’ had a bit more meaning than the English word for seek, this Hebrew word dāra´, was as much about seeking God as it is about seeking out our own attitude to God. This is about how we are on the inside, in our spirit, that inner place where we are honest with ourselves, if indeed we are honest with ourselves.
Well King Asa and his merry tribes of Benjamin and Judea had a pretty good time of it as they sought after God; in fact they had the best time of things as far as Hebrew people go for quite some time. Why, because they dāra´[ed] after God, working out their relationship with him, understanding how they should live in relationship with him and what it was about themselves that may be keeping them from God. King Asa was the man who got the nation back on track with God and others came into the nation as they saw God at work in Judea.
If we look at verses 12 to 14 of chapter 15 we even read these words, “They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their Fathers with all their heart and soul. All who would not seek the Lord the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great man or woman. They took an oath to the Lord etc etc.”
Now this was a serious covenant, nothing wishy-washy about any of it. I think that the naysayers soon came into line as the options around non conformity were a little limited. Remember this was people making these decisions; the King was all powerful, what he said back in the day was law. In fact a bit further down the chapter we read that “All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly and he was found by them…” (vs 15)
King Asa continued to do great things, there was more nasty stuff removed from his nation and the temple of God went ahead with leaps and bounds as the King brought good stuff into the temple of God. It appears right down to the end of Chapter 15 everything was just wonderful. Judah had a great old chapter 15, right down to the last verse that reads, “There was war no more until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.” (vs 19).
Then what happened? I looks like chapter 16 is not quite the easy going, all is going to be a box of fluffy ducks chapter, that chapter 15 was.
Another King came on the scene! Jeroboam King of Israel had died, Nadab King of Israel was killed by his successor ………a bad egg, a really nasty bit of goods bloke by the name of Baasha who was now king of Israel, “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord…” (1 Kings 15:34a).
So Let’s have a look at chapter 16 and see what happened. Verses 1-6.
So there was a political alliance made with the King of Aram against Asa’s fellow Israelites in the North and the gold and silver came from the temple to pay for this venture. Bad move?!!!
So from verses 6 down to 14 what happened next?
There is two things that become pretty evident in this situation, God had wanted to help King Asa and Judah but instead King Asa had relied on a foreign king. This could have a few interesting parallels in our own lives.
So Asa got all scared and worried about the Israelites his extended family as they were, and asked for help from the King of Aram…not help from God.