We may start well – but will we finish well?
Today – we are going to take a look at a man who did not end well. Let’s learn from King Asa, so we can avoid making the mistakes he made at the end of his life.
Who was King Asa?
The life story of King Asa is found in 2 Chronicles 14-16 and 1 Kings 15.
King Asa was the third king of the southern kingdom of Judah. Unlike his father, King Abjiah, who did evil in the eyes of the Lord, –King Asa was known for “doing what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord.”
The kingdom had rest under Asa. He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace.
2 Chronicles 14:5-6
6 Lessons from the Life of King Asa
1. God puts us in circumstances where we have to rely on him.
After 10 years of peace, Asa had an army of 580,000 men. That sounds wonderful BUT Zerah, the Ethiopian, came out against him with an army of ONE MILLION men!
Asa was hugely outnumbered!
Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” 12 So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.
2 Chronicles 14:11-12
This battle seemed impossible, so Asa cried out to the Lord for help and told God “we rely on you”. And God gave them victory!
Numbers do not matter to God. He can do anything! And when we rely on God – he is there!
2. Stay Close to God
Right after King Asa’s victory, the Spirit of God came upon Azariah and he said these words to Asa:
The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
2 Chronicles 15:2
Azariah wanted Asa to know that he could not experience that kind of victory again if he did not stay close to God.
We must remain close to the Lord if we want to see God at work in our lives. If we choose to walk away from God, then we can expect consequences for that decision.
3. Do what is right – even when it comes to family.
Asa sought to honor God with all of his heart and soul and so when he saw his mother – the Queen – doing detestable things, he did not cave to family pressure or expectations. Instead, he sought to honor the Lord and had her removed from being queen.
Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days.
2 Chronicles 15:16-17
It can be so hard to stand up to family. Life can be difficult when our family does not understand our faith. But Asa was brave and in front of everyone, he did what was right, even when it came to his family.
4. When God gives you blessings – do not rely more on the blessing than God.
God had blessed King Asa greatly with riches from winning his battles. As a result, instead of relying on God, he relied on his riches. Asa used his silver and gold to get Syria to help him and it worked! But this displeased God greatly.
“Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. 8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand.
2 Chronicles 15:7-8
Sometimes when we are in the midst of a peaceful time in our lives — when things are going right– it can be easy to ignore God and find more joy in our blessings, than in God. God wants us to continually rely on him in both the good and bad times.
5. Resist the temptation to get prideful with old age.
King Asa became quite difficult in his old age. He put a seer in prison for giving him instructions that he did not like. As a result of his pride, God told him from then on, he would experience war.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”
2 Chronicles 16:9
As we grow older, we grow wiser. We gain life experience. Since we have experienced so much, we can begin to feel confident that we can handle our challenges on our own. We think – “I’ve been here before – I know the solution” – rather than thinking – “let’s pray”.
6. End Well.
King Asa had a sad ending. He did not end well. He got a severe disease in his feet and even still refused to seek the Lord or seek help from physicians.
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.
2 Chronicles 16:12-13
Oh friends, we must keep our hearts soft toward the Lord — all the way to the end!
These are the 6 lessons we learn from King Asa today:
- Rely on the Lord only.
- Stay close God.
- Do what is right – even when it comes to family.
- Do not rely on your blessings.
- Resist the temptation to be prideful in old age.
- End well!
Keep walking with the King,
The 2 Chronicles Journal is still available
(for ages 10-110)