Read 1 Kings 15:9-24 slowly and repeatedly.
The main content of the text: Like David, Asa did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and he carried out religious reforms to restore faith in the Lord. But there were also some weaknesses.
Verses 11,14 Like David, Asa had flaws and limitations, but he never lost his love for the Lord. God evaluates his life as being honest like David and being perfect before the Lord all his life. As religious reform was carried out centered on the temple, they were negligent in correcting the unruly rituals conducted at local high places, but Asa’s shortcomings would be compensated for by the emergence of more faithful kings. Hezekiah will remove the high places (2 Kings 18:4), and the Asherah idol that Asa burned in Kidron will be completely uprooted by Josiah (2 Kings 23:4-7) It is difficult to keep up perfect conduct, but we need to keep a pure heart. Are you keeping an honest and steady heart?
What lesson does God give me?
Verses 9-13 Asa carries out a major religious reform that purges the idolatry that had deeply permeated Jewish society during the reigns of his father Abijam and his grandfather Rehoboam. He kicked out those who practiced sodomy (14-24), removed the idols made during the previous royal reign, deprived his grandmother Maacah, who had made and served an idol of Asherah, of her position as queen mother, and cut down Asherah and burned it. He considered living as a son of his heavenly Father more important than protecting his children’s duties on this earth. It is meaningless to shout about reformation and change while heglecting inner corruption. Such reformation is merely speech without substance and self-sacrifice. What actions can you take right now to bring about change? What idols do you need to quickly eradicate from your home and workplace?
Verse 15: To provide for the needs of the temple in Jerusalem, Asa brought to the temple the silver, gold, and utensils that his father had saved up. He is a person who is good at not only emptying but also filling. As God’s community builds the Lord’s kingdom, reflect on what you need to fill with your time, gifts, materials, and prayers.
Verses 16-24 When Baasha, king of Northern Israel, heightened tensions by building a castle at Ramah near the border, Asa bribed Benhadad, king of Aram, who was allied with Baasha. Aram offers the silver and gold of the temple as a tribute in return for betraying Northern Israel. Asa may have been successful, but it resulted in the people of northern Israel being attacked and the people of southern Judah being mobilized for forced labor (verse 22). In his later years, Asa suffered from foot disease and had to lie bedridden for three years until his death, leaving the reigns to his son Jehoshaphat, through which the Bible seems to be indirectly blaming him for not relying on God (2 Chronicles 16:7 -14). In any situation, we must rely on God and act according to truth, not our opinions.
Community Prayer – Lord, please help me live an honest and complete life before God throughout the days I live in this world.
Prayer for the nations – Let us pray that God will protect the Israeli hostages taken to Palestine and open the way for Palestinians in the Gajwa area to receive daily necessities. Let us also pray that this war does not spread into a Middle East war and is quickly resolved peacefully so that innocent people do not lose their lives and Palestinian refugees can settle in a safe place.