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March 11, 2023

Yes, God has requirements, and there are consequences when they are unmet. God created us with free will; therefore, we must choose our actions wisely.

In this blog, I will be sharing from 1 Kings 15:9-24 and 2 Chronicles 14-16 the life of King Asa, the son of Abijam, who reigned as King in Judah for forty-one years. He is an example of a person who followed God’s requirements and was blessed, but in his latter years, he deviated from them.

When King Asa began his reign, Judah experienced ten years of peace, and during that time, he diligently tore down the foreign altars, pillars, high places, and Asherim in the land. Additionally, he encouraged his nation to obey God’s commandments.

Zerah, a Cushite and mercenary general of the Egyptian army, sought to engage Judah in battle. He came with 1,000,000 troops from Ethiopia and 300 chariots which was twice the size of Judah’s army. Knowing Judah would be defeated, King Asa prayed to God, for he understood God did not need a massive army to defeat Judah’s foe. As to be expected, with God on their side, the Ethiopian army was utterly destroyed, and Judah carried off vast quantities of spoil. 

As the King and army were returning from the battle, God sent Azariah, the son of Oded, with these instructions, “Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded (1 Chronicles 15:2-7).”

Upon hearing this with zeal, King Asa took courage and expelled the shrine male prostitutes, removed all the abominable idols from the entire land of Judah, Benjamin, and the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim. He removed his mother, Maachah, from her position for her idolatrous worship of Asherah. He renewed the altar of the Lord and gathered all Judah, Benjamin, and the strangers from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon in the third month and the fifteenth year of his reign to offer offerings and renew their covenant to seek God with all their heart and soul. The result of this was that the Lord gave them rest for the next twenty years.

For thirty-six years, King Asa’s actions pleased God, but then he mistakenly stopped seeking guidance from God when Israel’s King Baasha geared up to war against Judah. King Asa used the treasuries in the Lord’s house to procure the military assistance of Ben-hadad of Damascus to fight Israel. God was not pleased and sent the prophet Hanani to confront King Asa for his actions. Instead of humbling himself and acknowledging his error, he became angry, imprisoned the prophet, and mistreated the citizens who opposed his sentencing of Hanani. Three years later, when King Asa became ill, he looked to the physician for healing which did not happen, and for two years, he suffered in pain until he died.

Sadly, in the scriptures, others like King Asa served God faithfully in their youth and stopped doing so when they got old. I pray we will not be deceived and follow King their example. To help us stay on track, I close this blog with these nuggets:

No one is exempt from fulfilling God’s requirements.

Be a positive example for others.

Encourage others to serve God all their lives.

Your relationship with family members may be affected when you do God’s will.

When you trust and rely on God, He works on your behalf.

Prayer changes situations.

God-orchestrated victories brings rewards.

God will send warnings to remind you what He requires.

With God as your protector, there is no need to fear enemy threats.

Ungodly alliance displeases God.

Putting your trust and confidence in the arms of flesh is not beneficial.

When in error, humble yourself and ask God for forgiveness.

Causing harm to the prophet of God and His people will not work in your favor.

In your senior years, do not turn from God.

God is your healer; ask him to heal you as needed.

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