The Word's Christian Fellowship, Inc.
#64 A SENIOR MOMENT                                                                  February 3, 2008

II Chronicles 14:2 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:
3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:
4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.
5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.
6 And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.
I Chronicles 3:10 And Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son…
Asa, the great grandson of Solomon, the grandson of  Rehoboam, the son of Abijam [Abia], was one of the great kings of Judah and Benjamin. 

Following the first ten years of his reign as king, the Ethiopians, led by Zerah came calling.
II Chronicles 14:9 And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah.
10 Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.

The army of Zerah was almost twice the size of the army of Asa.
II Chronicles 14:8 And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour.

In the face of these overwhelming odds Asa did something remarkable.
II Chronicles 14: 11 And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
12 So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled.
Asa could have trusted in his army and skills as a commander, he could have hired reinforcements, he could have done a lot of things _ but he trusted in God and God delivered him. 

Some years later when Asa was quite a bit older another crisis arose.
II Chronicles 16:1 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
3 There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
4 And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.
5 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.
6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.

Asa appeared to have made a wise move, a good choice in the decision that he made in what was to become, the last few years of his life.  The enemy was routed, none of his men died and they got enough free building supplies to build two new cities.  God, however, had a much different perspective.
II Chronicles 16:7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims [led by Zerah in chapter 14] a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.
9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Asa had made a serious mistake.  He thought he had won a WAR.  Instead he had caused WARS.  He made another serious mistake in his response to God’s Word and it ultimately cost him his life.
II Chronicles 16:10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.

Asa refused the reproof and the correction from God that the prophet Hanani personally delivered on behalf of God.  Perhaps his 36 years or more of  success as a great king clouded his judgement.  Perhaps from the point of view of trusting God first, first, first, and first, he had a “senior moment”.  Whatever it was,
he didn’t receive the Word of God that God had graciously had delivered.  A relatively short time later, because he refused to realize that he was no longer trusting God first, foremost and primarily, a great tragedy occurred.
II Chronicles 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.
Age, experience, decades of success, are no substitute for trusting God and trusting Him first above all and anyone else.  In spite of the tragic occurrences in the last years of his life though, God’s Word still records that:
…Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God…

Learning remains an exciting adventure.

©  Stephen A. Harrison,  The Word’s Christian Fellowship, Inc.  4415 Yank Road  Wilson, NC 27893