With a holiday on Monday, it seems the rest of the week is always “off” a little. Today we made some more progress on our basement with some painting. It should progress fairly smooth from this point on. I attended my Rotary meeting and was able to fertilizer the yard and get a few seeds in the ground. (It was good to have family with us yesterday. Here is a picture of our group minus Christian and his family.)
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “At that time, Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him, “Because you depended on the king of Aram and have not depended on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.… Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison because of his anger over this. And Asa mistreated some of the people at that time.“ 2 Chronicles 16:7,10 HCSB
As I read of the Kings of Judah, one of my favorite is King Josiah. The Godly king who made one last ditch effort to bring revival to the nation and stay God’s hand of judgment. Another king that always gets my attention is Asa. He started off so good. He did so many great things for God, but he forgot the source of his success and ended up as an angry, evil king.
We read of King Uzziah descendant of Asa. Much like Asa, he had many good qualities and in his early years was faithful to the Lord. But we read, “But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.” (2 Chronicles 26:16 NIV)
This last weekend Pastor Jeff Lucas shared how when he entered Bible College to train for ministry that on the first day, the professor announced to the class that within ten years 50 percent of those present would not be serving the Lord. Not just out of ministry, but having turned their back on a life of faith and obedience.
I am not sure all of the factors that enter into the personal history of individuals who, at one time were zealous for the faith and then abandon the faith. However, we see that is not something that is new. At the end of his life Paul writes to Timothy and says, “Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica.” (2 Timothy 4:10 NLT)
What we can observe from the account of Asa is that his heart became hard toward the Lord and when rebuked he became “mad” at God. In the past Asa when faced with attacks from enemy nations depended upon the Lord and the Lord delivered. Now when faced with attacks from Israel, instead of turning to the Lord, he turned to Aram and King Ben-hadad for help. He really “paid them off” with a great amount of gold and treasures from the Temple, and hired them to attack Israel.
Hannai, the prophet rebukes the King and tells him he acted foolishly. However, unlike David of old who repented, Asa instead “doubled down.” He threw the prophet in prison and began to mistreat the people of God. In the later years of his reign he came down with a life-ending disease in his feet. Even then he never turned to the Lord for help.
The Lord is not looking for “sinless living”, but is looking for those who will have hearts open to Him and His word of correction. The prophet’s message included these words, “For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His.“ (2 Chronicles 16:9 HCSB) That is why even though David had his serious failures, he was still known as a “man after God’s own heart.”
Prayer for today… “Lord, keep my heart open to You. When You speak allow me to respond with an open heart; even when it is words of correction. May my commitment to You allow me to trust You fully and always.”