Have you ever prayed so much for something that it turned out better than you ever imagined? Maybe during medical school, you struggled and prayed to complete it and now you’ve graduated and are a medical doctor. Perhaps you prayed about your vision for the perfect house and you’ve just bought or built your dream house. Maybe you used to struggle with money and prayed for wisdom and increase and you’re now making enough money that you no longer have to worry about splurging on the things you want. You may be thinking, look at what I’ve done! Sure it took a lot of hard work but it also took your devotion to God to make it happen.
King Asa’s story reminds us of the importance of this devotion to God. It is a story of great victory and downfall.
King Asa started his rule succeeding King Abijah who had fourteen wives. He was so devoted to God that he removed the altars of false Gods in high places.
So Abijah lay down with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place. The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days.
And Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the memorial stones, cut down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to comply with the Law and the commandment. He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the Lord had given him rest. – 2 Chronicles 14:1-6
When Zerah the Ethiopian threatened Judah with an army, Asa called on God.
Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; help us, Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.” 12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. – 2 Chronicles 14:11-13
As a result of this devotion to God, there was no war until the thirty-sixth year of King Asa’s rule. What happened in the thirty-sixth year would alter Asa’s reign and life.
In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and sent it to Ben-hadad king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying, 3 “A treaty must be made between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.” 4 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa, and he sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. -2 Chronicles 16:2-5
Asa no longer sought God for Judah’s safety or his rule. Instead, he relied on men to save him from King Baasha. When God sent Hanani to rebuke King Asa he was imprisoned after he recounted the ways God had blessed Asa. For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth, so that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will have wars.” -2 Chronicles 16:9
In the thirty-ninth year of his rule, King Asa became diseased in his foot and again he did not seek God but instead went to the physicians. He would later go on to die in the forty-first year of his reign.
Where did King Asa go wrong? This was a person that started off being fully devoted to and even hungry for God. He ended his life relying on men for deliverance and forgetting how God had blessed him all those years. As you continue to succeed in life as a devoted Christian, do not forget this lesson. Remember God in the good and bad times, seek him first in all situations and remember that it is by his grace that you are now a successful doctor, have a wonderful house, or are wealthy. It is your devotion to him that has led you to success.
How has God blessed you all these years? Share in the comments below.