By Jay T. Robertson, Ph. D.
Affiliate Professor of Systematic Theology, College of Cellular
1 Kings 15:9–22
Rehoboam was succeeded on the throne by his son Abijam, who reigned over Judah three years. Abijam dedicated all of the sins his father had accomplished earlier than him. We aren’t instructed the reason for his dying, however we’re given a analysis of his religious downside: “He was not wholeheartedly dedicated to the Lord his God as his ancestor David had been.” Abijam’s son Asa succeeded him. Was there any hope for Judah? Would Asa’s reign be characterised by religious riot or religious renewal?
By God’s grace, Asa was an individual of various character. He reigned over Judah longer than anybody earlier than him. Throughout his 41 years as king, six completely different kings sat on the throne of Israel. What set Asa aside was not the size of his reign however his devotion to God. Asa was certainly one of Judah’s good kings, placing him in an elite group of kings with Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah.
Along with serving God personally, he tried to finish the pagan practices Solomon, Rehoboam and Abijam had allowed. He initiated some drastic modifications in Judah.
First, he banished the sacred prostitutes his father and grandfather had ignored. These prostitutes had sexual relations with worshippers of false gods to induce agricultural or private fertility.
Second, he destroyed all of the idols his fathers made. This was no small feat. Solomon had 700 wives and constructed shrines on the excessive locations the place they might worship their gods (1 Kings 11:7–8).
Third, Asa deposed his grandmother Maacah, who held the essential place of queen mom. She was concerned in pagan fertility worship, and she or he had sponsored an Asherah pole. Asa minimize the pole down and burned it within the Kidron Valley.
Asa initiated these vital reforms as a result of he “was wholeheartedly dedicated to the Lord his total life.” He eliminated issues that will get in the way in which of worshipping the One True God rightly and reverently.
Asa’s essential political and navy issues revolved across the border with Israel. Asa and Baasha, Jeroboam’s eventual successor within the north, fought all through their reigns. Israel’s king, Baasha, fortified Ramah, a metropolis 4 miles north of Jerusalem on the principle highway resulting in Jerusalem from the north. If Baasha might efficiently management Ramah, he might hold anybody from heading south to Jerusalem.
Baasha posed such a menace that Asa withdrew all of the silver and gold at his disposal from the temple and the royal treasuries so he might bribe Ben-hadad, king of Syria, to interrupt Syria’s treaty with Israel and are available rescue him. God rebuked Asa for relying on the military of Syria somewhat than trusting in Him (2 Chron. 16:7–10). Asa’s actions violated his dedication to God. He had regarded to Syria somewhat than to God for rescue. Everytime you really feel cornered, bear in mind to cry out to the Lord and belief in Him. Our God is trustworthy.
Ben-hadad accepted the bribe and marched on higher Galilee. Baasha was compelled to withdraw his troops from the southern border to fortify his capital metropolis, Tirzah. Then Asa seized the chance to tear down the fortifications at Ramah. He fortified two different border cities. Asa’s fast response pushed the border a number of miles north, offering a bigger defensive zone for Jerusalem.
Asa acquired a positive judgment from the author of Kings. He rose to the problem and stopped Judah from spiraling downward into sin that had begun underneath Solomon and continued underneath Rehoboam and Abijam. Asa led the nation to repent of the sin of idolatry, and he set an instance by being dedicated to the Lord.