2 Chronicles 16
-The last five years of Asa’s reign were bitter times for an otherwise righteous rule over the land of Judah. The falling away began when Baasha, king of Israel, came up against the prosperous Southern Kingdom with a blockade in Ramah to stop the flow of people in the North going in and out to the king of Judah (2 Chronicles 16:1). Instead of seeking the LORD, like he did with the Ethiopian invasion (2 Chronicles 16:8-15), Asa went straight to an old ally of his father in Aram, to the north and east of the Israel, and struck a deal to divert the attention of Israel. While the plan worked, the LORD was not pleased with his reliance on Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, and sent Hanani the seer to give a correcting word to Asa with the fact that now the pagan nation had escaped out of their hand (2 Chronicles 16:2-7). Judah had not trusted completely in the LORD for their salvation and deliverance as they had when they were outnumbered by the Ethiopians. The word of the LORD was that His eyes “move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” In this matter Asa had acted foolishly and now he would face constant turbulence in his kingdom (2 Chronicles 16:8-9). This angered the king, and instead of turning in repentance, he put the seer in prison, enraged at his audacity. Asa began to oppress some of the people at this time and his rule began a five year decline in which he became more and more bitter and leaned on other influences rather than the LORD. He became diseased in his feet in his 39th year and looked to the physicians more than his God for healing in the severity of it. He thus passed on into eternity weakened and faltering from his once honored position (2 Chronicles 16:10-14).
-*Application* The LORD wants all of our reliance to be on Him in every area of our lives. In His omniscience He looks to and fro all over the earth to support, strengthen, bless, and honor those whose hearts are completely surrendered to His leading, sustaining, and provision. This is what true faith is all about, depending on the LORD for every aspect of our existence. Without faith, it becomes impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). Realize this in your life and seek out His counsel above all else in every decision. Also, endure in it. Asa is a great example of a strong start, but a weak finish, much like his great grandfather Solomon. God expects us to finish strong and complete our course with Him persevering in all things with Him (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Hebrews 12:1-2). Be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).
Verse to Memorize: 2 Chronicles 9:16