1 Kings 15:11
And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done.
ReformationJ.A. Macdonald 1 Kings 15:9-15
Zeal Without TrustJ. Urquhart 1 Kings 15:9-24
The Character of AsaJ. B. Litler, M. A.1 Kings 15:11-15

The moral condition of Judah was fearful when Asa came to the throne. The apostasy of Solomon had inaugurated a retrogression which was aggravated in the reigns following, so that for three generations the abominations of the heathens were increasing. The condition of Israel was even worse, under the system introduced by Jeroboam, to which the successors of that monarch tenaciously held. When the Holy Land was in such a state of degeneracy, what was the condition of the world at large! There was, therefore, the greatest need for reformation.

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.

Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.
In Asa, King of Judah, we have one of the most melancholy, yet perhaps one of the most marvellous instances on record in the Holy Scriptures of the depravity of our nature. What strikes us in this prince is not merely that sort of inconsistency which is, more or less, part of every man's character; that strange admixture of opposing principles and motives which may be said to influence the actions of the generality of men; neither is it — what is a still more common evil among men — the succumbing to the power of any one evil disposition which is not sufficiently counteracted by a corresponding virtue. It is his failure in that very point in which the chief of his virtues seemed to lie — his faith and perfect confidence in God.

I. THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MAN'S ARRIVING AT A SINLESS STATE OF PERFECTION SO LONG AS HE IS CLOTHED WITH THIS MORTALITY. In Asa we have a proof that a man may be perfect before God, and yet have sin. "In many things we offend all," and "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves" — if we were to infer that a state of faultless perfection were attainable in this world from the fact that there are many who, like Noah, Abraham, or Asa, are said to have walked perfectly with God, it would he difficult to reconcile such an inference with the sins they are known to have committed. When we find such injunctions as this — "Walk thou before Me, and be thou perfect." It is plain that the word "perfect" must be interpreted in that sense of general uprightness of character which it is only possible to apply to the best of men in this world. The main difference between the righteous and unrighteous — and this we ought chiefly to bear in mind — lies in habitual character. It is this which God principally regards, and not occasional sins, grievous though they be. The pith of all true religion, the grand substance of the doctrines of both Old and New Testaments, is summed up for us at the conclusion of both — the last words of the Old Testament being: "Then shall ye return and discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not"; while among the last utterances of the Holy Ghost speaking by St. John, are these: "His servants shall serve Him" — "He that loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha." Thus the constant service of God is spoken of in both Testaments as the distinctive feature of the righteous.

II. THE MORE PRACTICAL LESSON OF CAUTION IN THE MANNER OF OUR DAILY WALK. If Satan be suffered to exercise so great power over the hearts of the faithful servants of God, how watchful over our own hearts should we be! How necessary to each one of us the godly admonition of the apostle: "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall"! And how are we to take heed lest we fall? By standing always in the grace of God — this is the secret of final perseverance; this is the secret of Asa's heart being perfect all his days. It is a mere matter of history that the saving mercy of God is more generally shown to those in whom we find habitual goodness of heart to have pre-existed, or, more strictly speaking, by whom grace given has been constantly used and persevered in, than to those whose habit of life has been careless and negligent of God's service. The case of a seemingly virtuous child being led astray might well presuppose a want of real hearty piety, or a degree of pride and self-confidence which has withdrawn the special care and love of God, and left that child a prey of his enemies. This is not, however, the case of a really righteous person fallen from his uprightness. In all this we have a strong caution. If habitual piety is never forgotten, and rarely goes unrewarded at last, how much ought we to be on our guard lest we lose aught of that piety, lest we slacken the fervour of our zeal, and suffer our love to grow cold, or even lukewarm; lest, in a word, we forfeit aught of that grace wherein alone we stand.

(J. B. Litler, M. A.)

Abel, 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
Abel-beth-maacah, Chinneroth, Damascus, Dan, Geba, Gibbethon, Ijon, Jerusalem, Kidron, Mizpah, Ramah, Syria, Tirzah
Asa, David, Sight
1. 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 Themes
1 Kings 15:11

     8158   righteousness, of believers

1 Kings 15:1-31

     5366   king

1 Kings 15:11-12

     6239   prostitution
     8315   orthodoxy, in OT

1 Kings 15:11-13

     4290   valleys
     4906   abolition

1 Kings 15:11-14

     5345   influence

David'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

BY REV. ALFRED ROWLAND, D.D., LL.B. 1 KINGS xv. 8-24; 2 CHRON. xiv-xvi. Asa was the third king who reigned over the separated kingdoms of Judah. His father was Ahijah, of whom it is sternly said, "He walked in all the sins of his father, Rehoboam, which he had done before him." A worse bringing-up than Asa's could scarcely be imagined. As a child, and as a lad, he was grievously tempted by his father's example, and by the influence of an idolatrous court, which was crowded by flatterers and
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Whether Christ is the Head of the Church?
Objection 1: It would seem that it does not belong to Christ as man to be Head of the Church. For the head imparts sense and motion to the members. Now spiritual sense and motion which are by grace, are not imparted to us by the Man Christ, because, as Augustine says (De Trin. i, 12; xv, 24), "not even Christ, as man, but only as God, bestows the Holy Ghost." Therefore it does not belong to Him as man to be Head of the Church. Objection 2: Further, it is not fitting for the head to have a head. But
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Proper to Christ to be Head of the Church?
Objection 1: It seems that it is not proper to Christ to be Head of the Church. For it is written (1 Kings 15:17): "When thou wast a little one in thy own eyes, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel?" Now there is but one Church in the New and the Old Testament. Therefore it seems that with equal reason any other man than Christ might be head of the Church. Objection 2: Further, Christ is called Head of the Church from His bestowing grace on the Church's members. But it belongs to others
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Obedience is the Greatest of the virtues?
Objection 1: It seems that obedience is the greatest of the virtues. For it is written (1 Kings 15:22): "Obedience is better than sacrifices." Now the offering of sacrifices belongs to religion, which is the greatest of all moral virtues, as shown above ([3173]Q[81], A[6]). Therefore obedience is the greatest of all virtues. Objection 2: Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "obedience is the only virtue that ingrafts virtues in the soul and protects them when ingrafted." Now the cause is greater
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Christ Died Out of Obedience?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ did not die out of obedience. For obedience is referred to a command. But we do not read that Christ was commanded to suffer. Therefore He did not suffer out of obedience. Objection 2: Further, a man is said to do from obedience what he does from necessity of precept. But Christ did not suffer necessarily, but voluntarily. Therefore He did not suffer out of obedience. Objection 3: Further, charity is a more excellent virtue than obedience. But we read that Christ
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Disobedience is the Most Grievous of Sins?
Objection 1: It seems that disobedience is the most grievous of sins. For it is written (1 Kings 15:23): "It is like the sin of witchcraft to rebel, and like the crime of idolatry to refuse to obey." But idolatry is the most grievous of sins, as stated above ([3182]Q[94], A[3]). Therefore disobedience is the most grievous of sins. Objection 2: Further, the sin against the Holy Ghost is one that removes the obstacles of sin, as stated above ([3183]Q[14], A[2]). Now disobedience makes a man contemn
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Predestination Can be Furthered by the Prayers of the Saints?
Objection 1: It seems that predestination cannot be furthered by the prayers of the saints. For nothing eternal can be preceded by anything temporal; and in consequence nothing temporal can help towards making something else eternal. But predestination is eternal. Therefore, since the prayers of the saints are temporal, they cannot so help as to cause anyone to become predestined. Predestination therefore is not furthered by the prayers of the saints. Objection 2: Further, as there is no need of
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Lawful for Clerics to Kill Evil-Doers?
Objection 1: It would seem lawful for clerics to kill evil-doers. For clerics especially should fulfil the precept of the Apostle (1 Cor. 4:16): "Be ye followers of me as I also am of Christ," whereby we are called upon to imitate God and His saints. Now the very God whom we worship puts evildoers to death, according to Ps. 135:10, "Who smote Egypt with their firstborn." Again Moses made the Levites slay twenty-three thousand men on account of the worship of the calf (Ex. 32), the priest Phinees
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Becoming to Pray?
Objection 1: It would seem that it is unbecoming to pray. Prayer seems to be necessary in order that we may make our needs known to the person to whom we pray. But according to Mat. 6:32, "Your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things." Therefore it is not becoming to pray to God. Objection 2: Further, by prayer we bend the mind of the person to whom we pray, so that he may do what is asked of him. But God's mind is unchangeable and inflexible, according to 1 Kings 15:29, "But the Triumpher
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Asa's Reformation, and Consequent Peace and victory
'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
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Whether Vengeance Should be Taken on those who have Sinned Involuntarily?
Objection 1: It seems that vengeance should be taken on those who have sinned involuntarily. For the will of one man does not follow from the will of another. Yet one man is punished for another, according to Ex. 20:5, "I am . . . God . . . jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation." Thus for the sin of Cham, his son Chanaan was curse (Gn. 9:25) and for the sin of Giezi, his descendants were struck with leprosy (4 Kings 5). Again the blood
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Redemption for Man Lost to be Sought in Christ.
1. The knowledge of God the Creator of no avail without faith in Christ the Redeemer. First reason. Second reason strengthened by the testimony of an Apostle. Conclusion. This doctrine entertained by the children of God in all ages from the beginning of the world. Error of throwing open heaven to the heathen, who know nothing of Christ. The pretexts for this refuted by passages of Scripture. 2. God never was propitious to the ancient Israelites without Christ the Mediator. First reason founded on
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Question Lxxxiii of Prayer
I. Is Prayer an Act of the Appetitive Powers? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer based on Friendship II. Is it Fitting to Pray? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer as a True Cause S. Augustine, On the Sermon on the Mount, II. iii. 14 " On the Gift of Perseverance, vii. 15 III. Is Prayer an Act of the Virtue of Religion? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Humility of Prayer S. Augustine, On Psalm cii. 10 " Of the Gift of Perseverance, xvi. 39 IV. Ought We to Pray to God Alone? S. Augustine, Sermon, cxxvii. 2 V.
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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