Lord, may I always seek to do what is right in Your eyes.
Read 1 Kings 15:9–24
Asa King of Judah
9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.
11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. 12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. 13 He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 15 He brought into the temple of the Lord the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.
16 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
18 Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 19 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
20 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maakah and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.
23 As for all the other events of Asa’s reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased. 24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThe ambition to be devoted to the Lord gives meaning and direction to everything we do.
King Asa of Judah received high marks for his 41-year reign. He, like King David, did “what was right” (11). We’re also told he was “fully committed to the Lord all his life” (14).
But it wasn’t easy. Asa faced challenges along the way, including his grandmother Maakah’s efforts to promote idolatry. Another problem came when King Baasha of Israel—the northern part of the now-divided kingdom—tried to defeat Asa by building a fortress just four miles north of Jerusalem in an effort to block Israel’s commerce.
Asa wasn’t passive. He confronted idolatry and even deposed Maakah as the queen mother for her Asherah worship. And when Baasha launched his military provocation against Judah, Asa sent emissaries to Syria, Israel’s northern neighbor, with a financial gift to King Ben-Hadad. This persuaded the Syrians to attack Israel with their much-stronger army. So Baasha had to turn back from Judah to defend his own border.
There was more, of course, but the pattern is clear. Asa’s spiritual reforms, his diplomacy and his city-building efforts were dynamic expressions of being “fully committed to the Lord.”
How will you be remembered and how would you like to be remembered after you’re gone?
Thank You, Lord, that as my companion and help You always give me direction in my life.