1 Kings 14-16…Asa the reformer.
In the lives of Asa, king of Judah, and Ahab, king of Israel, we find perhaps the best example of the great spiritual diversity that marked this period of the divided kingdom.
Asa was one of a handful of kings in Judah who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” His long reign of forty-one years is one indication that God’s hand was upon him, although longevity cannot always be equated with God’s blessing.
There is much more information on Asa’s reign in 2 Chronicles 14-16, including several details not included in today’s reading.
Asa was a reformer, a vigorous defender of the true worship of God. He destroyed the idols his predecessors had made and expelled the male prostitutes whose presence kept a curse on the land. He even deposed his grandmother, Maacah, for idolatry, tearing down the pole she had erected to encourage worship of a pagan goddess.
Asa’s war with Baasha, the king of Israel, is described briefly here, but 2 Chronicles 16:7-10 adds that God was displeased with Asa for relying on the ungodly king of Aram (Syria) rather than on the Lord. Although Asa’s reign was not completely unmarred, he was committed to the pure worship of God.
How are you being intentional in this way? One very helpful way to keep those around you in your church focused on the Lord is to season your conversations with spiritual salt. In other words, take initiative in talking about spiritual things. When you share prayer requests, focus on more spiritual issues, and less superficial (i.e. a family trip, or work or house hunting). Note: there is nothing wrong with praying about non-spiritual things, but failing to ever pray about the spiritual for each other is the concern. See all of Paul’s prayers for a model on praying.
Here’s another good litmus test: When you meet with your bible study group, or home/small group, do you ever open the bible? If not, you may be doing nothing different from a secular group therapy meeting.