Asa’s Feet

In his old age, however, his feet became diseased. 1 Kings 15:23

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. 2 Chronicles 16:12

Did you ever imagine that you’d find so much detail about a king in Judah? Severely diseased feet. In both places in the Old Testament, the authors pointed out Asa’s feet. Only the 2 Chronicles passage expounds upon the significance: Asa only sought doctors for help.

Doctors need our prayers. Most do their best but they are continually hounded by threats of frivolous and expensive lawsuits. Pray that when you receive care, it’s the best possible care. Pray that the doctors will use every resource at their disposal to help you. Know, though, that our healing comes from the Lord, but it often shows up via a doctor’s care. Why God chooses to use people like you and me (and doctors) baffles me.

And yet, that’s part of the great mystery of our God.

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Politicians are Politicians

Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.” 1 Kings 15:18-19

From the text it appears that Asa was a politician. Certainly Asa was king but not all kings are or want to be politicians. Asa saw wisdom in befriending Ben-Hadad (probably before Baasha got to him). Asa felt that he couldn’t control or conquer Baasha without his help.

Thousands of years have passed and politicians really haven’t changed much. Negotiations, back room deals, bribes, pitting one side against the other, teaming up against another nation (or person) are all part of the political landscape. And yet, we don’t think highly of the crop of politicians in power today (in general). The elements are all there for good relations. The elements are also there for corruption and greed.

Pray for your politicians. They are often under tremendous pressure to compromise and to do what is in the interests of a handful of people rather than the masses. Pray that when the chips are down, many will recognize their need for a Savior.

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Grandmothers Sin Too

In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.

Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done. He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made. He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 1 Kings 15:9-13

I have always like reading about King Asa. I’m not sure exactly what I liked about him except that he was considered a good king. He was King of Judah for 41 years. He enjoyed a long life as King. In his lineage, Maacah is mentioned. That’s his grandmother. So far, so good. I was almost ready to extol the virtues of the Book of Kings writer for honoring grandmothers in such a way until I read further. You see, Asa deposed his grandmother as the queen mother because she was continuing to sin by making an Asherah pole (a cult that worshiped the goddess Asherah, and quite possibly involved prostitution). In short, he booted her off the throne.

It’s merely a reminder that we all sin. Grandmothers, grandfathers, sons, daughters, children, parents, in-laws, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, neighbors. We all sin. I’m not introducing anything new but it certainly doesn’t hurt for us to acknowledge that fact. We read the story above and think that Asa removing his grandmother from a place of honor must have hurt him. But truth be told, sin destroys. Sin by anyone at any time hurts destroys.

But fortunately, we have a Savior. We may not know how fortunate we really are.

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Three Year Plan

In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been. 1 Kings 15:1-3

Abijah reigned over Judah for only three years. He was a wicked king and was not fully devoted to the Lord. He was a leader but obviously not an aspiring one. He didn’t reign long and we can only surmise that wild living cut his life short. His only claim to being was that he was not like King David. That fact certainly wouldn’t be gratifying to me.

Three years isn’t a long time to reign as king. You are still learning how to rule and what to wear and how to talk. How different life would be if we operated under the three-year plan.

If you knew your life would end in three years, what if anything would you do differently? Would you laugh more? Would you cry more? Would you give of yourself more? Would you pray more or witness more or watch the sun set more? Or perhaps you would change nothing about how you act. What if it were only two years or one year, or God forbid, what if you only had three months to live, how would you then live?

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A Jealous God

Judah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than their fathers had done. 1 Kings 14:22

You may recall that Rehoboam, son of Solomon, was king over Judah. He had asked his elders what he should do, then asked his younger counselors what he should do. He took the advice of his peers rather than the wisdom of his elders. Then he fled for his life because the people were very displeased. Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took the gold shields that were in the temple. Rehoboam replaced them with bronze shields and had them placed under guard.

Once again, the LORD states that the entire nation did evil in His eyes. He is a jealous God and stirred up his wrath. What were Judah’s sins? High places, sacred stones, asherah poles, and male prostitution. All of this points to pagan worship with a significant sexual element involved (for more information, search the first three phrase on Google or Bing). Judah had strayed. As the leader of Judah, Rehoboam had also strayed. His kingdom was quickly winding down.

Throughout Scripture, we see that God is jealous about his people, us. I don’t think we quite comprehend the depth of that love and jealousy. In prayer today, ask God to help you understand that love and jealousy. Be very specific about it.

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