and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother's name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.
I. OF THIS ASA BECAME THE SUBJECT AND SPECIMEN. Reformations have ever been inaugurated by individuals who have embodied and exemplified their principles. Witness Luther in Germany, Knox in Scotland, etc. Such also was Asa.
1. He "did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord."
(1) To do right in the eyes of the world is praiseworthy. For wicked men "know better;" and they have keen vision to discover inconsistencies in professors of religion (see Philippians 2:15: 1 Peter 2:11-15).
(2) To do right in the eyes of good men is a higher commendation. They have a purer light, and consequently a finer appreciation of moral qualities. Things which the world will allow they. cannot approve.
(3) But to do right in the "eyes of the Lord" is the highest praise. He reads the heart - surveys the motives - requires "truth in the inward parts." What a searching vision shall we pass under in the day of judgment I If that vision approve us now we shall then have nothing to fear.
2. In this he is compared with David.
(1) David never followed idols. The one blur of his life was the matter of Uriah, of which he heartily repented. Who amongst us has nothing to repent of?
(2) David's loyalty to God was sincere and fervent. What a warm spirit of piety breathes in the Psalms I are they not, even in our gospel age, a fine vehicle for spiritual worship?
(3) David was a prophet. This Asa was not. He had the grace, not the gifts, of the founder of his house. Gifts are not equally within the reach of all; graces are.
3. Such commendation was eminently creditable to Asa.
(1) He stands out in remarkable contrast to his father. Abijam was wicked; Asa was good. The influence of the father was vicious; the son resisted it and was virtuous.
(2) Asa's mother seems to have died early, for Maachah, the daughter of Absalom, who was his grandmother, is here mentioned as his mother. Under the influence of Maachah, Abijah developed badly; notwithstanding that evil influence Asa developed well.
(3) We must not ignore, but fully recognize, individual moral responsibility. The will cannot be compared to a pair of scales which is mechanically moved by weights.
II. OF THIS ALSO HE BECAME THE INSTRUMENT. This is God's order (1 John 1:3). What he felt he tried to promote.
1. Beginning with his own house.
(1) He removed the idols which his father had made. He felt especially bound to do this in order to cut off the entail of sin from his house.
(2) He frowned also upon the idolatry of his grandmother. "She made an idol in a grove" (מפלצת לאשרה) a glory for an Ashere. The word is used for terribleness or majestic glory Jeremiah 49:16. Setting an image in the cloud of glory was setting it on an ark or chariot of cherubim to be worshipped. (See Psalm 50:3, where נשערה is used for the cloud of glory about Jehovah.) Asa demolished this nimbus, or glory, together with the Ashere, or idol, and probably threw the ashes into the Kedron in contempt (compare Deuteronomy 9:21; 2 Kings 23:12; 2 Chronicles 15:16).
(3) Furthermore, he removed Maachah from being queen (dowager). He thus merited the commendation of Levi (see Deuteronomy 33:9; see also Matthew 10:37).
2. Then influencing the nation.
(1) He removed the Sodomites out of the land. What prosperity can there be in any state where public immorality is tolerated by the magistrates?
(2) He destroyed the high places of idolatry with their altars and idols, in the country and in the cities (see 2 Chronicles 14:3, 5).
(3) The high places used in the worship of Jehovah after the fashion of the patriarchs, he spared. For this he is but lightly censured; to have limited the ordinances of public worship to the temple would have been the more excellent way.
(4) He encouraged the worship of Jehovah (see 2 Chronicles 14:4). Not by precept only, but by example also. He dedicated to the Lord the things which his father had vowed, but either neglected to pay or died before he could carry his purpose into effect. Also the spoil which he himself had taken from the Ethiopians (see 2 Chronicles 15:11, 12). Where the heart of God's people is loyal the treasuries of His house will be full. - J.A.M.
David kept my commandments... thou hast gone and made thee other gods.
I. THERE ARE SOME WHO HAVE ALREADY CHOSEN THE SERVICE OF THE KINGDOMS OF THE COUNTLESS. We have many round about us who have deliberately chosen not to serve God, but to serve other masters.
1. Some choose to be the slaves of open sin.
2. There are many persons who are not the worshippers of vice, but they are the votaries of money-making. They are the slaves of the thirst for wealth.
3. There are some others who do not try to get much money, but they are lovers of fashion, lovers of society, admirers of the world.
4. Then there is another cult that has lately come up, which some have chosen, so that they have become the devotees of "culture."
5. I will only refer to one more class of those who have chosen the service of the kingdoms; these are the seekers of self-righteousness. This is an old-fashioned and very respectable deity whom many still worship.
II. SOME SEEM TO BE PINING TO GIVE UP THE SERVICE OF GOD, AND TO GO TO THE SERVICE OF THE KINGDOMS. It is a strange thing; but this evil is always breaking out even among the people of God.
1. Some want to change out of sheer love of change.
2. Some want to be off to their idols, because of the outward aspect of the new thing.
3. Sometimes men turn aside because of their loss of joy in the service of God. They are not serving the Lord as they used to do; they are doing but little for Him.
4. Then there are many who are led to want a change from the service of God by the flagging of others.
5. There are some who turn aside because religion now has brought them to a point where it entails some extra self-sacrifice.
III. THERE IS A GREAT CONTRAST BETWEEN THE SERVICE OF GOD AND ANY OTHER SERVICE.
1. If you are about to engage in the service of God, there is nothing demanded of you that will harm you. There Is no commandment of God which, if you keep it, will injure either your body or your soul.
2. Next, notice that there is nothing denied you, in the service of God, that would be a blessing to you. The promise is, "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly"
3. Once more observe that in the service of God strength will always be given according to your day.
4. And all the while that you are the servant of God, you have a sweet peace in reflecting upon what you have done. As George Herbert said, when he helped a poor woman with her load, and men wondered that the parson of the parish should carry a poor woman's basket for her, "The memory of this will make the bells ring in my heart at night," so the service of God makes the bells ring in our hearts.
5. Lastly, there is above all this a hope of the eternal reward which is so soon to come.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
PeopleAbel, Abijah, Abijam, Abishalom, Ahijah, Aram, Asa, Baasha, Ben, Benhadad, Ben-hadad, Benjamin, Dan, David, Hadad, Hezion, Issachar, Jehoshaphat, Jeroboam, Maacah, Maachah, Nadab, Naphtali, Nebat, Rehoboam, Rezon, Sodomites, Tabrimon, Tirzah, Uriah, Urijah
PlacesAbel-beth-maacah, Chinneroth, Damascus, Dan, Geba, Gibbethon, Ijon, Jerusalem, Kidron, Mizpah, Ramah, Syria, Tirzah
TopicsAbishalom, Abish'alom, Daughter, Forty, Forty-one, Grandmother's, Jerusalem, Maacah, Ma'acah, Maachah, Mother's, Reigned
Outline1. Abijam's wicked reign
7. Asa succeeds him
9. Asa's good reign
16. The war between Baasha and him causes him to make a league with Ben-Hadad
23. Jehoshaphat succeeds Asa
25. Nadab's wicked reign
27. Baasha conspiring against him, executes Ahijah's prophecy
31. Nadab's acts and death
33. Baasha's wicked reign
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 15:1-31
LibraryDavid's Sin in the Matter of Uriah.
"And David said unto Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' And Nathan said unto David, 'The lord also hath put away thy sin; then shalt not die.'" The sin here referred to is that of David in the matter of Uriah. A strange and sad event--taken in all its circumstances and connections, it is without a parallel. But the circumstance most to be lamented, is that mentioned by the prophet, in the close of his message--"By this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme." …
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects
Whether Christ is the Head of the Church?
Whether it is Proper to Christ to be Head of the Church?
Whether Obedience is the Greatest of the virtues?
Whether Christ Died Out of Obedience?
Whether Disobedience is the Most Grievous of Sins?
Whether Predestination Can be Furthered by the Prayers of the Saints?
Whether it is Lawful for Clerics to Kill Evil-Doers?
Whether it is Becoming to Pray?
Asa's Reformation, and Consequent Peace and victory
Whether Vengeance Should be Taken on those who have Sinned Involuntarily?
Redemption for Man Lost to be Sought in Christ.
Question Lxxxiii of Prayer
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