Dedication

OPENING PRAYER

Savior, I trust You. I wait for You. I will see Your Word come to pass.

 

Read: 1 KINGS 15:9-24

[9] In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, [10] and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom. [11] Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done. [12] He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. [13] He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. [14] Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life. [15] He brought into the temple of the LORD the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated. [16] There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns. [17] Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah. [18] Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. [19] “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.” [20] Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maakah and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali. [21] When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah. [22] Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah-no one was exempt-and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah. [23] As for all the other events of Asa’s reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased. [24] Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.

 

 

Reflect: WHAT DID ASA'S DEVOTION LOOK LIKE?

After the division of the kingdom, Israel is plunged into idolatry through Jeroboam. Starting with Rehoboam, the southern kingdom likewise has a mostly negative pattern of kings who “do evil in the eyes of the Lord.”One exception is Asa, whose rule amounts to a reversal of Rehoboam’s reign. He is also set in contrast with his father, Abijah, in 1 Kings 15:1-8. Here as elsewhere, David is the measure of faithfulness (3-5), and Asa is compared favorably (11). He gets rid of the trappings of false religion and doesn’t let family ties stand in the way of reform (12,13). Although Asa is fully committed to the Lord, no claim to flawlessness is made, a lovely reminder that God works through less-than-perfect men and women. Asa builds up the temple treasury, but uses it to seek an alliance with neighboring Aram (15,18,19) when he should have trusted the Lord (see 2 Chron. 16:7-10). So, the positive report is qualified; his reforms are partial and will need to be concluded later by his son Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:46). But David’s lamp continues to burn, as God said it would (1 Kings 11:36; 15:4), anticipating the One who would obey him completely.

 

APPLY

Pray for strength for those who seek to remain faithful to God in difficult circumstances.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Jesus, I long to be found faithful. Strengthen my heart and help me lay aside all that keeps me from You.

 

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