Here is one of many:
"Asa's heart was loyal to the Lord all his days."
Then I got to thinking one day, that I don't remember Asa being on the 'good kings list' in the far reaches of my brain. Then I ran across a verse that said "but he didn't remove the high places" so, I started adding to my prayer that "our kids would be loyal to the Lord all their days and that they would not live in any compromising situations and would have the courage to change things around them that need changing."
I'm so glad the story of Asa turned out to be in my Bible reading plan yesterday.
So, how can a guy who:
"did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God" not be remembered as one of 'the good kings?' Here's what I found out:
He did not finish STRONG. : (
He did a lot of GREAT things in his life like:
"He removed alters of foreign gods and high places, broke down sacred pillars and cut down wooden images."
"He commanded Judah to seek the Lord."
He even removed his mom from being the Queen Mother because "she made an obscene image of Asherah."
And my favorite thing was, he trusted God when he went into battle with his 300,000 men against the ONE MILLION soldiers of Ethiopia. I didn't remember ever reading of Israel going against a million people before, and found out that this was the largest military campaign mentioned in the Bible.
Here was Asa's awesome prayer before the battle:
"Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power. Help us Lord our God for we rest on You and in Your name we go against his multitude." Awesome!
And God moved and it says "so the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah."
Then God had the prophet Oded remind Asa of this awesome truth:
"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. But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded." (I love that!)
Asa did take courage and 'he removed the abominable idols from the land of Judah and Benjamin' and he 'restored the alter of the Lord.' He gathered the people together for a day of consecration and sacrificed 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep and "they all entered into a covenant to seek the Lord of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul." Then came the sweet fulfillment of the prophecy of Oded:
"All Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul and He was found by them and the Lord gave them rest all around."
With all that said, it is sad to see that Asa didn't end strong.
The same guy who TRUSTED GOD for help and won the greatest military victory ever, turns to the help of MAN for a much smaller battle. He made a treaty with BenHadad of Syria for help against Baasha King of Israel. Why did he turn to a man for help when he had the Living God and had seen His power and faithfulness?
Then he makes this same mistake again...
"Asa became diseased in his feet and his malady was sever, yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested with his fathers..."
I guess these couple of things explain why he didn't make the 'good king' list. May we all remember the faithfulness of our God, no matter what comes against us and turn to Him for help.
This beautiful verse that we all know, is in this story:
"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him..."
May we all have loyal hearts and finish strong.
(2 Chronicles 15-17)