1 Kings 15 part 11


Since it has been several weeks since have looked at the book of kings I want take just few min to bring us back up to speed of what we have looked at thus far.


A quick review

The Southern Kingdom – Judah

Rehoboam – Solomon’s son reigns for 17 years

          He was good for at least 3 years but turned bad by his 5th year as king.

          He started doing idol worship.

Abijah – Rehoboam’s son reigns for 3 years

          He relied upon God for his victory over the northern tribe but over all he was a bad king.


The Northern Kingdom – Israel

Jeroboam – servant of Solomon reigns for 22 years

          He was bad early on and he setup golden calves and false God’s for the people to worship.

He has three major prophecies against him.

1. A future king named Josiah would burn men's bones on him 1 Kings 13:2.

2. A future king would kill him and his whole household 1 Kings 14:14

3. All of Israel would be scattered beyond the river. 1 Kings 14:15


Nadab – Jeroboam’s son reigns 2 years

          He follows in dads footsteps

          While trying to conquer the Philistines at Gibbethon Baasha, a fellow Jew, kills Nadab and his family fulfilling one of the prophecies against Jeroboam.

Baasha reigns 24 years

          He was also a bad king

          A prophet named Jehu let Baasha know that all his family will die just as Jeroboam’s did because of his wickedness.


Elah – Baasha’s son reigns 2 years

          He gets drunk and his servant Zimri kills him and his family fulfilling Jehu’s prophecy against Baasha

Zimri – Elah’s servant reins for 7 days

          He commits suicide by burning himself up in the kings house


Next we have 2 kings at once Tibni and Omri.


          They reign at the same time for about 4 years until Tibni dies.

          Omri takes over as king.

          At this point he is called the worse of all kings as he rebels against God.

          He reigns for 12 years.



Our primary focus tonight is going to be the long reign Asa over southern kingdom of Judah. 1 Kings 15 says very little about Asa and just gives brief summary of his life in verses 9- 24. However 2 Chronicles 14 – 16 gives much more detail and so the only thing I really want to point out from 1 Kings 15 is that is tells us that Asa was Abijam’s son and that he reigned for 41 years with his reign beginning in the 20th year of Jeroboam’s reign. The rest of our lesson tonight will be coming from 2 Chronicles. Now according to 2 Chr 14:1 Asa had 10 years of peace in the beginning of his reign.


2 Chronicles 14:2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God,  3 for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images.  4 He commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment.  5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him.  6 And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the LORD had given him rest.  7 Therefore he said to Judah, "Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side." So they built and prospered.  8 And Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah who carried shields and spears, and from Benjamin two hundred and eighty thousand men who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty men of valor.


Finally we have another king that is actually trying to be a good a servant of God and tearing down the idols and high places in his kingdom and he doing what he can to make sure his people are obeying God’s commands. During this 10 years of peace he doest just sit around and do nothing instead he uses this time to fortify his cites so that he can be prepared to do battle. As I thought about this concept I couldn’t help but think how you and I need to be like this king by not sitting around and doing nothing when we have peace in our life. In similar way we should be preparing ourselves for whatever may come our way and we should especially be preparing ourselves for the spiritual battle that will come our way and of course we can prepare ourselves by building up our knowledge and faith in God.


2 Chronicles 14:9 Then Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah.  10 So Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.


We need to remember that Asa’s army is only 580,000 strong and they are about to go to battle against 1 Million soldiers not mention their 300 chariots. Asa was a great disadvantage. But, watch what he does to overcome these odds as we read in,


2 Chronicles 14:11 And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, "LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!"  12 So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.  13 And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the LORD and His army. And they carried away very much spoil.  14 Then they defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD came upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them.  15 They also attacked the livestock enclosures, and carried off sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.


Asa did the right the he relied upon God and trusted in him for victory and because of this despites the odds he wins the battle and runs them off and chases them down and walks away with more than what he had. We must have the same attitude today. We need to trust in God first because he there for us and will help up through whatever we are going through.


2 Chronicles 15:1 Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded.  2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.  3 "For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law;  4 "but when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them.  5 "And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands.  6 "So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity.  7 "But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!"


This Prophet Azariah wants Asa to know that he must be faithful to lord if you want him to be with you because if you are not he will not be there to help you. I want to remind every time you see Israel mentioned from this point forward it is referring the northern kingdom and Azariah uses them as example of what happens when someone forsakes the Lord.


2 Chronicles 15:8 And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the LORD that was before the vestibule of the LORD.  9 Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.  10 So they gathered together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.  11 And they offered to the LORD at that time seven hundred bulls and seven thousand sheep from the spoil they had brought.  12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;  13 and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.  14 Then they took an oath before the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting and trumpets and rams' horns.  15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around.


The message that Azariah spoke Asa really moved him and got on fire for the Lord. You really have to respect Asa because he was man who knew he needed God in his life and so he set forth to do whatever he could to make sure that he stayed faithful and that others would obey and honor God’s commands. Azaraih’s word rekindles Asa courage and went and torn down the idols and high places in his land. Because God was with him even some of those from Israel came to a great meeting that Asa called together in the 15 year of his reign. He made a great sacrifice to God and everyone present entered into covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; They were so determined to make their land pure and full of God fearing people that they even put death those who would not follow after God. They all rejoiced about the decision that had made to follow the Lord.


2 Chronicles 15:16 Also he removed Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah; and Asa cut down her obscene image, then crushed and burned it by the Brook Kidron.  17 But the high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days.  18 He also brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated: silver and gold and utensils.  19 And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.


This shows the Asa was putting God even before his family because he removed his mother or as have some have suggest his grandmother from being queen and making images of Asherrah. Now Asherrah was Canaanite  goddess of fortune & happins and she was considered to be mother of Baal. She was represented by a sacred pole or tree usually setup by an altar for Baal. But, Asa put a stop to this because he loved first and put his will above his mother’s idolatry. This never an easy thing today but we must do this same thing today by putting God first our lives even if it means making our family upset at us. One thing you will notice is one place it says that Asa removed all the high places but here it says that they were not all removed. Is, there a contradiction? NO. In fact there are several way to explain this but the easiest one to me is that in this verse it says he didn’t remove high places from Israel which is the northern kingdom. However when it says he removed all the high places back 2 Chr. 14:5 it says he did so in all the cities of Judah. So, there is not contradiction. Now Asa enjoy peace basically for another 20 years.


2 Chronicles 16:1 In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.  2 Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent to Ben-Hadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying,  3 "Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Here, I have sent you silver and gold; come, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me."  4 So Ben-Hadad heeded King Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali.  5 Now it happened, when Baasha heard it, that he stopped building Ramah and ceased his work.  6 Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones and timber of Ramah, which Baasha had used for building; and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.  


Now the reason why Baasha was building at Ramah was to keep the people Israel from going to Judah. So, Asa uses his money and buys help from Ben-Hadad to help take care of Baasha and it worked and they went and torn down the structure that he was building. But, watch what happens next.


2 Chronicles 16:7 And at that time Hanani (hah-nah-nigh) the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: "Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.  8 "Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim (lou-beam) not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand.  9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars."  10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.


At first I am sure that Asa was well pleased with himself as he really put it king Baasha but the problem was is Asa relied upon man to help him with his predicament instead of God. After all these years of trusting in God and serving him for whatever reason he set that aside in this instance and because of this Hanani (hah-nah-nigh) tells him he will have wars now. Hanani (hah-nah-nigh) reminds him of he concurred the 1 million men that came up against him by rely upon the lord and he also lets him know if you would have had that same confidence in the Lord you would have be able defeat Baasah and Ben- Hadad.  I love what he says in verse 9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.


Isn’t that a great thought knowing that God is constantly watching out for those who are loyal to him? Well, Asa did like the message so he locks him up and even oppresses some of his own people. A similar thing happens like this today. When someone preaches the truth from God’s word and someone doesn’t like many times they will take their rage out on the messenger instead of accepting God’s truth.


2 Chronicles 16:11 Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.  12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.  13 So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign.  14 They buried him in his own tomb, which he had made for himself in the City of David; and they laid him in the bed which was filled with spices and various ingredients prepared in a mixture of ointments. They made a very great burning for him. 


As we come to the end of Asa life we see that in the last 3 years of his life he had some kind of diseases in his feet and once again instead of seeking Lords help he relied upon his physicians. This tells me that if he had relied on God his feet would have been healed. Now I wish I knew why his trust in God grew cold at the end of his life, but whatever the reason it is always sad to see someone who had so much passion to serve God to get to the point where he did not seek rely upon him. From this we learn a great lesson and that is that we should do our best to always rely upon the lord all of our lives.


Finally we can see that he built his own tomb in the city of David and was buried there and they buried him with spices and ointments. Then the people made a great burning for him as the remembered this Kings long reign and how he obeyed God’s commands. Please note that they were not burning him but burning a fire for him or we could say in honor of him.


We have learned in this lesson that Asa was a good King overall and walked in the footsteps of David. We learned how important it is for us to rely upon God first and then humans second. We learned that God is always watching our for those who are faithful to him. I want to close this lesson with the words of Paul.


Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.