Wednesday, November 9, 2011


And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done.
1 Kings 15:11

Righteousness is refreshing. Reading through the accounts of the kings of Israel and Judah can be tedious. Mostly because it is a litany of disobedience and unrighteous acts. But when you come across the righteous actions of a good king... it is like a cool refreshing breeze on a really hot day! That's the feeling I get reading about Asa, king of Judah.

The summary statement is that God saw Asa as a king who did what was right. The text gives five quick reasons for his righteousness. FIrst, "He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land" (1 Kings 15:12a), thus stopping the sexual fertility worship perversions practices in Canaanite idolatry. Secondly, he "removed all the idols that his fathers had made" (1 Kings 15:12b). I take this to mean he eradicated every temple shrine erected by previous kings to a foreign god. Thirdly, "He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother" (1 Kings 15:13a). The rationale for this was her commitment to Asherah worship. Fourthly, "Asa cut down her image (Asherah) and burned it", thus publicly going against family idolatry and committing to the worship of God (1 Kings 15:13b). The final evidence offered is something only God could know: "the heart of Asa was wholly true to the LORD all his days" (1 Kings 15:14b).

Asa's reforms were controversial and sweeping and still incomplete (he left high places untouched as explained in 1 Kings 15:14a). But he would not let the worship of God fall into complete loss. His heart worshipped Yahweh fully. And for his love for the Lord and actions of worship by combatting idolatry, he is commended by God. Sometimes trusting God in hard times and standing for the truth in an age of falsehood leads to a lifetime of smashing idols.

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