Day 100—Good King/Evil King—“God’s Watchfulness” 2 Chronicles 14:1 – 16:14
April 10, 2021, 7:27 AM

Day 100—Good King/Evil King—“God’s Watchfulness” 2 Chronicles 14:1 – 16:14

First of all—you did it! 100 days of commitment to God and to reading the Word of God! Take a look at allllll the pages you have read in your bible. Amazing isn’t it? I feel really pleased myself because this is the time I am reading through the Bible that it is sticking for me. Names, places, stories—putting time into this has given me back so much more.

Ok, now onto Asa. He was one of those kings that says, in our Kings chart Good/Evil. Things started off good for him. Asa is the third king of the Southern Kingdom (remember that the Kingdoms split after Solomon). And our reading today is uncomplicated, short and to the point.

Asa started off dedicated to the LORD, calling out to him in battle, taking down all the idols and even deposing his own mother because she worshiped Asherah. Now THAT’S commitment. But the minute I saw this line, I knew it wouldn’t last: “But the high places were not taken our of Israel.” 2 Chron 15:17

I always want to ask these kings questions: “King Asa, sir, with all due respect, why didn’t you remove the high places when you knew that they would encourage worship of foreign gods?” But humanity does what it will do. Perhaps he felt as though he had done enough. We don’t know. But when we read our scriptures and hear that the ‘high places’ remain, our biblical antennae should be up and aware.

Asa’s sin was that he gradually lost his dependence on God and began to rely on his own wisdom and actions without consulting God. We are always taken aback when one action seems to create judgment against a King who has been obedient until that time, but if we are honest, it isn’t one action. The action is the culmination of a gradual separation between God and King Asa, and even though we are not privy to all the steps, noting that those high places of worship to foreign gods remained is definitely one giant sign pointing to an eventual fall.

Those great seers of ancient modern culture, The Indigo Girls, a duo who sang and toured in the early 1990’s sang a song that contained a line which said “Your actions will follow your thoughts all around.”1  I thought that was brilliant because it made absolute sense to me. Most of our actions are not completely spontaneous, but oddly premeditated, and that includes both good and bad actions. Our thoughts lead the pathway to action.

Good King Asa began to trust his own instincts and left God on the dusty shelves of his palace, and not only that, but he tried to do away with the seer, Hanani, who told Asa that he had sinned which then began a downward spiral of cruelty that ended ignobly in the King’s death from a foot disease, a classic time when you or I would, in fact, turn to the LORD for help. But not Asa. He had strayed too far from the God who loved him. And he never turned back.

Humans get to choose their pathways and Asa’s simple and short story of a path that strayed from God is familiar and yet profoundly sad. This is a story we recognize, and we don’t have to be royalty to see this happen around us in our culture, our family, even our churches. The pandemic, for example, has made it both easier and harder to seek the presence of God.

God is everywhere—online in more places than we can possibly visit. And yet, once we have found ourselves straying, changing disciplines like attending church, praying on a regular basis, we recognize the gradual separation that does not require us to be disciplined in the same way, to attend church even when it has reopened, to connect with God intentionally and sometimes at personal sacrifice.

What does it mean to turn back to the One who loves us, who was inconvenienced for us, tortured for us, died for us and now, who has risen again so we have a sense of new life beyond what this world offers? Easter is a chance to re-boot, and the season of Easter lasts for 6 weeks. Biblical characters like Asa remind me of my own wayward ways and encourage me to turn back as well.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others,

ML

 

 

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