There’s a lot we can learn from the study of the kings in the Bible. Look at king Asa of Judah. He was the third king of Judah and was zealous for the Lord. However, after living most of his life in the Lord’s favor, he lost it when he turned away from him. It’s within the context of King Asa and his devotion to the Lord, that we have this intelligence of how a relationship with God works. 

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (emphasis added).

James 4:8 (NIV)

Although the original verse is this one from 2 Chronicles.

He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”

2 Chronicles 15:2 (NIV)

After being outnumbered by the Cushites, Asa called out to the Lord for help, and the Judean army defeated the Cushites. After returning from the battle, Azariah, son of Oded is given this word for Asa in 2 Chronicles 15:2. There are three promises in 2 Chronicles the Lord made to Asa, Judah, and Benjamin. These promises also apply to us.

  • The Lord is with us when we are with him. 
  • When we seek the Lord, we will find him. 
  • If we forsake God, then we will be forsaken. 

These promises indicate that a relationship with the Lord isn’t a passive one. It’s more than just saying some words one day to follow Jesus and then never think about him again except at meal times. How many earthly relationships work like that? Could you maintain a friendship, job, or even marriage without showing a commitment to the relationship? 

Some might think that once we’ve “found” Jesus, we no longer need to “look” for him. Again, like any relationship, the process of seeking the Lord is one where we continually get to know him better. 

The author of Hebrews tells us, “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,'” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV), but 2 Chronicles 15:2 tells us that if we forsake God, then he will forsake us. Is there a contradiction here, or is there something more to these verses? 

Let’s think about earthly relationships. When a man and woman get divorced, that usually means they don’t want to have anything more to do with one another. When you quit a job, it means you don’t want to work for that company any longer. Rarely are we still pursued after we’ve “quit” a relationship, right? In fact, if, later on, we decide that we want to renew that relationship, it’s often impossible to reconcile and restore it. Well, a relationship with God is like that and not like that.

God has given us free will. Part of having free will is being able to do what we want. If we decide that we want nothing more to do with God, then he honors our choice. Unlike earthly relationships, if we decide we want to renew our relationship with God, then he will restore it, as evidenced in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

We often fail to think of the context of 2 Chronicles 7:14, but verse 13 reveals it to us.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people.”

2 Chronicles 7:13 (NIV)

When the people have turned away from God, and he sends out punishment for turning away, he will turn back to them when they do everything in 2 Chronicles 7:14. 

King Asa followed the Lord most of his life. Near the end of his reign “when 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” (2 Chronicles 16:1 NIV). Asa turned to Ben-Hadad, king of Aram for help instead of turning to the Lord. 

When Hanani the seer rebuked Asa, instead of repenting, Asa had him thrown into prison and then “brutally oppressed some of the people” (2 Chronicles 16:10 NIV). Anyone who agreed with Hanani and the Lord was likely amongst those who Asa brutally oppressed.

King Asa lived the rest of his life in opposition to God. His anger was so great that even when he became severely diseased: he never sought the Lord’s help. 

The issue with King Asa was one of pride. Of course. There’s nothing like pride to keep us on the wrong course. I don’t know why Asa held onto his pride and was so angry at the Lord, but I expect it had to do with the Lord’s favor. For thirty-six years, Asa had the Lord’s favor, and there was peace in Judah. During that time, I’m certain that Asa became confident in the favor the Lord had given him. I expect he did everything “right” until the incident with Baasha, king of Israel. 

I think Asa had grown accustomed to being the king. After all, it’s good to be the king, isn’t it? As king, he had the Lord’s favor, and everyone did what he wanted them to do, but when he did the wrong thing, he couldn’t handle the idea that he did something wrong. The problem couldn’t have been with him. Therefore, it had to be with the Hanani and those opposed to Asa. 

What we can learn from King Asa goes back to what was first told to him by Azariah, son of Oded. A relationship with the Lord is a continual process of getting to know him. I don’t know if Asa turned away from the Lord before that fatal decision in the thirty-six year of his reign, but his behavior reveals someone who had obviously forgotten who had made him king. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.