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Fully Committed to Him, part 2
Not only did he (Asa) do these things, he also instituted many reforms in the land of Judah over which he was king.
On the surface, it may be a little difficult for us to wrap our minds around and fully understand what happened that caused Asa to turn away from the Lord in the way he did (after seeming to be so committed to him). But this week we are going to look at this larger passage and see what caused Asa to turn away from the Lord in the way he did.
Rejected God’s Rule
Deuteronomy 7:1-4 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, 2 and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. 3 You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4 for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly” ESV.
For the first 34 years of Asa’s reign he was truly committed to the Lord. As we have already seen, he instituted great reforms in the nation of Judah: BUT, there is one point of wavering that may have been a sign of what was to come…
2 Chronicles 15:16-18 “Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels.”
Now, the Bible is silent as to what caused this wavering on the part of Asa. For some unknown reason, Asa failes to remove the high places which were the places where the worship of Baal and Asherah actually took place. Whatever caused it, we clearly see an ever so slight compromise. And in just a few years that slight compromise would grow to a total disregard for the Word of God.
David knew the importance of God’s Word… He wrote this for us in Psalm 119:11: “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
Many years ago there was a skeptic in London, who, in speaking of the Bible, said “It is quite impossible in these days to believe in any book whose authorship is unknown. There was a Christian in the crowd, who asked if the person who developed the multiplication table was known. “No!” the skeptic answered. “Then, of course, you do not believe in it.” “Oh yes,” was the skeptic’s reply, “I believe in it because it works well.” “So does the Bible,” was the quick response of the Christian. And to that, the skeptic had no answer. — A. Naismith
Well said, don’t you think? The Bible works! But the truth is, it only works if we use it and apply it!
Medication: A Merry Heart
One morning, when my son was about 19 months old, he saw me putting on a pale green face-mask. (Something I rarely do.)
“What ‘ou doin’?” he said.
“I’m putting on a face mask,” I replied.
“What it for?” he asked.
“It’s to make Mommy look more beautiful,” I told him.
He stood looking at me in that considering way that small children have, then said as gently as possible, “Well... it doesn’t.”
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
Today’s readings: Job 21 – 23