Summary: What a tough day! What if you HAD to fire granny? Take this advice...
When to Fire Your Grandmother
“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”
You can tell a lot about a person’s character by how they handle the hard choices. Today I want to focus on, not just a labor issue, but a life issue.
King Asa fired his grandmother. That’s a rough day in the palace, I don’t care who you are! Read the story in I Kings 15:9-14.
9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah,
10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.
11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done.
12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made.
13 He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.
In the brief story of Asa a string of family problems dominates. Yet
Asa stands out as one of the kings who did what God wanted.
He was not without problems of his own, but he was able to overcome his family’s influence and live a life pleasing to God anyway.
Look at the family situation
Rehoboam (Asa’s grandfather) splits the kingdom
straying from the path of wisdom and tries to be tough.
Conflict with the Northern kingdom is the rule of his reign.
Maacah (Asa’s Grandmother) worships idols.
Abijah, Rehobaom’s son (Asa’s dad) is sinful following in the footsteps of both his father and his mother, Maacah. Abijah seems to have ruled along side his father who was usually away at war. When his father died, he continued the wars with Israel in the North.
It is in this environment that Asa is born.
When begins his reign, He
is determined to follow Godly practices in his public policy.
When he did this, he was bucking a powerful family system. His grandmother, Maacah, had erected an Asherah pole. Asherah was a fertility goddess of the Canaanites, usually associated with Baal. Their shrines were often placed side by side. The Asherah shrine was a tall, thick pole made of a stripped tree trunk. Women often venerated Asherah, believing that she would help them have children.
The woman herself was powerful. In ancient times, the Queen Mother was incredibly influential. The position was reserved for the mother of the king. In these societies, the king had many wives, and it was somewhat uncertain which one would bear the son who would be the next king. Many times, no single wife would rise to the power of queen. When a son actually took the throne and overcame his rivals, that’s when the mother of the king became clear. She was also a direct link back to the former king and usually represented previous policies.
The power of Maacah is evident. In spite of the fact that her son Abijah had 14 wives, including Asa’s mother, she held on to the position of Queen Mother, for two generations. Asa had no wife strong enough to take the authority of queen. His own mother did not take the position. So his grandmother must have been an imposing person.
• A great-grandfather who was Solomon and had introduced paganism
• A grandfather who had divided the kingdom
• A father who maintained constant war with the neighbors
• A grandmother who was a powerful and persistent queen and a strong proponent of paganism
As Asa took the throne, he had incredible family inertia and tradition to overcome. But if he was to follow in the footsteps of David, he had an up-hill road to trudge.
Asa believed the words of the prophet:
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.
He "deposed" Granny Maacah!
Asa was in a tight spot. The throne of Judah was not just a political office, it was a ministry and a calling. The responsibility to be the anointed of God among His Chosen People was an awesome responsibility. If he was to succeed, he had some difficult decisions to make. Some of those decisions involved breaks with his family’s traditions and behaviors.