Category: Loss


Scripture

2 Chronicles 16:7-10 (NIV)

7 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.
8 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. 9 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.”
10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

Observation

Times are tough and we have nowhere to turn, we seek the Lord and He blesses us. He delivers us from bondage and brings us into peaceful shores with plenty. When times become tough again, instead of seeking the Lord, we look to our strength to do His work. Is His arm too short to save? Perhaps, we believe what we are doing is according to His will and is wise. We are told to ask for wisdom and believe that we have received it (James 1:5). What do we do, however, when we find out what we did was wrong in the eyes of the Lord? We don’t want to do what King Asa did.

King Asa was the first king of Judah to seek the Lord since King Solomon. Judah had turned away from God to follow the work of their own hands. When Asa needed encouragement it was given to him through the prophet Azariah (2 Chronicles 15:8). After hearing from the Lord through Azariah, Asa “removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim” and “repaired the altar of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 15:8 NIV). Furthermore, Asa “also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother” and destroyed the Asherah pole she had made (2 Chronicles 15:16 NIV). After committing these acts of repentance, Asa brought all of the people of the lands together (2 Chronicles 15:9). There were so many immigrants to Judah from Israel because the people saw everything that God was doing in the land and knew that He was with Judah (2 Chronicles 15:9). All of Judah swore an oath to follow God with all their heart and soul and so the Lord gave them peace for 20 years (2 Chronicles 15:19).

When King Baasha of Israel attacks Judah, after so many years of peace, King Asa turns to King Ben-Hadad of Syria and seeks his help in defeating King Baasha (2 Chronicles 16:2). Now, I don’t know what King Asa was thinking. Perhaps, after so many years of ruling the kingdom and having peace, he thought that he was acting wisely. Surely, it makes sense to seek an ally in times of war? I’m reminded of the proverb, “there is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:22 NIV). Our motivation for why we do things is important. However, I think what is more important is how we respond in the face of a rebuke from the Lord. We know that a wise person will accept a rebuke with the love that is intended (Proverbs 15:31). Proverbs 9:8 tells us “Do not rebuke an evil one, lest he hate you, but rebuke a wise one, for he will love you” (Aramaic Bible). Asa’s response to Hanani the seer could only be described as that of an evil man. Asa threw Hanani into prison, tortured him, and then went after those who supported the Lord (2 Chronicles 16:10). Asa held onto his anger until he died, no longer seeking the Lord.

There’s one thing about King Asa that stands out to me. He once had faith in God and then he lost it. When we come to Christ, as new Believers, we may do as King Asa did and get rid of all the things from our former life. What this looks like to each person is going to be specifically different with the same general premise. Everything that contributed to our sins we turn away from. Whatever our lifestyle once was it should largely cease to be. The inward change that God does when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior will be reflected in our external lives. What happened to Asa to turn him from a devote follower of God who executed anyone who didn’t follow the Lord (2 Chronicles 15:13) into a man who, despite the horrible affliction of his feet, refused to turn to the Lord for healing? (2 Chronicles 16:12)

I suppose the answer to what happened to King Asa is no different than what can happen to you and me when we put our trust in anything other than God. One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a Christian is that nothing on this side of Heaven that is healed by God has to stayed healed by God. Very early in my journey as a new Christian, I faced some very hard struggles. My wife, who was a Christian, had prayed with the church for my salvation for over five years. Even though I wasn’t a Christian I went to church. I can only imagine how hard it was for her and for my church family to see me in church Sunday after Sunday, unsaved for so many years. Had it been me, waiting on the Lord, I think that I would have given up on me.

My marriage, at the time, had been on rocky ground. Once I was saved, God started to heal it as He healed my heart. My wife and I were the “stars” of the church. We shared testimonies and became a beacon for the healing of God. We counseled couples and saw other people through tough times. Our life together had taken off and was going someplace until it wasn’t. In a time of testing our marriage broke, again. I had believed that what God healed would stay healed. I had believed that the words of promise spoken over our marriage would continue and never fail. I was wrong.

When the marriage broke I turned away from the church. From my family. I cast blame and couldn’t take the pain. I didn’t blame God. I still loved Him, but I slowly started to do more and more things that weren’t in my best interest until I found myself sick. Like King Asa, I had developed a sickness in my body. It was during that time of great pain and affliction that nothing mattered to me more than being with God. Whether it was in the body or Heaven. I needed Him, His grace, and His healing. “Please heal me or let me die,” I said to Him. Then He showed me something so clearly. An arm that was broken and then healed can break again.

I had supplemented my faith in God with trust in my marriage. An arm, like that marriage, could break again. However, God can never fail. I don’t know if King Asa placed his trust in himself and his understanding of God. If twenty years of peace and prosperity lulled him into believing in his strength. I do know that when Asa was faced with a choice to repent from his pride or turn back and follow God, that Asa held onto the comfort of being right.

Would you like to be saved from the fear of death? Knowing that when you die you will be in an eternity filled with love, joy, and peace where there is no longer pain and suffering? Would you like to walk free of guilt today? To have your sins forgiven by the grace of God and to know true peace, here and now?

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

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and 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.

to Regrettville, blame
game on the move, picking
up passengers at
Remorse Way, Depression Avenue
and Anxiety Town. No stops
today for Hope Abbey or
Paradise, California.

Now serving, uNcategorized feelings,
at the bar!

Hop aboard! Woo!
Woo!

Tell me
you love me,
you’ll never let me go,
crumbled digital
remains, of time
betwixt sorrow time,
a joy filled tune,
carrot cakes, swindled
you, upon
bonnets grey,
humbled nouns
obey, stoic steeds lead,
a lion’s breath,
fetid, sour
filled kisses,
of love, sorrowful
love, in a
hand-breadth, torn
away…

Oh

how I feel
your pain,
through so
many miles,
penetrating
my core,
pain, so
deep
shatters
mountains,
uproots
trees,
and
brings
me,
your
dear friend,
to
my
knees.