Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
Once upon a time, there was a young man who became king of a great country. His name was Bubba (OK, it’s really not Bubba, but let’s pretend). Bubba was a good king. He believed in God and did things to make God happy and bring His blessings on the people. The king before him was not very nice and did not do the right things for God. But Bubba cleaned up all his mess which made God happy. Bubba’s kingdom had rest from all kinds of wars and other nasty things.
Later, there was a king from another country that came to make war with Bubba. King Bubba took stock of his army and he had around 500,000 men. That was a big army, but the other king had a million men!! This made King Bubba a bit nervous. The only thing Bubba could think of to do was to pray and ask for God’s help. It was a short prayer. The battle was about to start so there was no time for a long, drawn out prayer. And guess what? God heard Bubba’s prayer and defeated the enemy.
After that battle, Bubba kept making reforms and improvements in his kingdom. He tore down idols and places of worship of other gods. He even made his grandmother stop being the queen mother because she made a detestable image of a false God. Bubba was indeed, a very good king.
Then later, another king wanted to make war with King Bubba. This time King Bubba made an alliance with a third king who was not really following God. To cement this alliance, Bubba took treasures from the house that they built for God and his own house and gave them to the king. When the king who wanted to make war heard of the alliance, he got scared and took off running. So, this enemy was defeated just like the first time. The crisis was over!
But this time God was not happy. So, He sent a prophet to King Bubba to explain what he did wrong. The prophet said, “at the time of the first battle, you prayed to God and He defeated the enemy for you. But this time, you relied on man rather than God. Even though things ended well, God is angry at you!” King Bubba used to listen to the prophets, but this time he got angry and threw the prophet in jail.
After that, King Bubba was not the same good king he used to be. He became cruel to some of the people. Sometime later, Bubba started having trouble with his feet. It finally got so bad that he died from it. During his illness, he never even prayed to God one time about his illness. How sad. But God declared that Bubba was still a good king overall. Sadly, the people of the kingdom did NOT live happily ever after.
I would guess you know that this is the story of King Asa taken from 2 Chronicles 14-16. I like reading a lot of the stories in 2 Chronicles. It talks about good and bad kings, victories, defeat and judgment among other subjects. But I don’t think they are meant just to be interesting stories There are things we can learn from the actions of the kings, both good and bad. Here are a few I learned from the story of King Asa.
- Doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord is a good thing. Whether we see blessings from them with our eyes or not, it is just good to please the Lord from our hearts. I’m not sure if I said this already, but I have this new prayer that I try to keep in mind and pray. “Lord, let me have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to follow you completely.” Spend time in the Word. But approach it from your heart. Ask God to show you what He wants you to see as you read.
- When we are up against a problem, trial or crisis, we need to pray and trust God to help us through it. A lot of our problems, especially for us men, comes from trying to run our lives. I know, we are good John Wayne Americans and we can handle our lives. Friends, that is nothing but a lie from satan.
- Watch out for idols in our lives. The Bible says that Asa did not take down the “High Places” in Israel. For the most part, these places were a stumbling block to the people in worshiping the true God. I think we all have idols of some kind. It may be food, TV or movies, sports, shopping, friendships or something else. May God show us our idols that need to be surrendered to Him. What stands in our way of following God fully?
- It’s funny, even though Asa didn’t take down the high places and he ended his kingship badly, 2 Chron. 15:17 says that “nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. I’m not sure I understand that, except when I look at it through the heart of grace of God! Maybe God knows we are but dust and will never follow Him fully. I’m not sure. I do things that I think constantly displease God. But when He shows me, I always try to keep a short account and confess it. Grace is so much more that we can imagine with our minds.
- Lastly, I think we should never give up hope and prayer. The Bible says that when Asa had the disease in his feet, he did not seek the Lord. We need to pray, and pray and pray! There are times when I find prayer most difficult to do. Even today, it was difficult. But the Bible says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him.” 2 Chron. 16:9. This kind of reminds me of something Pastor Bryan said last Sunday. He said, people will say all kinds of bad things about you. But don’t give them an opportunity to question your integrity. That’s a paraphrase but I think I have the point.
None of these five things are easy, and we may not always see the results, at least here on this earth. But God who is everywhere at all times (wrap that around your brains) will be pleased. Let’s seek Him with all our hearts! Amen.