He banished the male shrine prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
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.
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.)
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
TopicsAside, Banished, Cult, Fathers, Gods, Got, Idols, Images, Male, Prostitutes, Purposes, Removed, Removeth, Rid, Sex, Shrine, Sodomites, Turneth, Whoremongers, Worship
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 15:12
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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