King Asa started our so well. In 1 Kings 15:11 it says: ‘Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done.’ Most of the good Kings in the Old Testament that were good, fell short of King David’s standard.
Scripture then tells us of how King Asa removed false idols and fervently followed the LORD. In 2 Chronicles 14, a vast army came against them. It says in verses 9 – 11:
"Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah.
Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, "LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.""
When faced with this massive army, he prayed and leaned on God. The result was that God answered and the Cushites fled. It was a huge victory for Judah.
Asa was king of Judah for 41 years. This event was in the first half of his reign. They had no war for many years, but in his later years, war broke out against them. In 2 Chronicles 16 it says:
"In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign 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.
Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 3 "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 silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.""
God was not pleased with this tactic and sent a prophet to confront him. In 2 Chronicles 16: 7 – 9 we read:
"At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: "Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.""
King Asa started out so well. He leaned on God when the vast army of Cushites attacked them. He was fervent in tearing down false idols and false religions in Judah.
On the surface his plan worked when he gave the treasures from the Temple to the Aram king. You might even think that God gave him the wisdom to think of such a clever plan.
We don’t see people’s hearts where God does. God was not pleased with this decision. Faced with a huge trial, Asa did not inquire or even ask God for help.
If you look through all of Scripture, there is not one incidence where God did not deliver those who earnestly sought Him and leaned on Him.
If King Asa had turned to God for help, God would have delivered them and they would still have the temple and palace treasures.
Tucked in these verses is one of my favorite Scriptures.
‘For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.’
I think how often I have made decisions that looked right. King Asa started out so good. These passages remind me to lean on God for help in all the trials I face. God’s solutions are much better than the world’s solutions!