June 19

June 19

Asa (Southern King 41 years) — Asa relies on Syria instead of relying on the Lord.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: 1 Kings 15:1-24

Reading 2: 2 Chronicles 16:1-14

Reading 3: Psalm 118:5-14

The recurring theme in the books of Kings and Chronicles is whether each successive king does what is evil in the sight of God, or whether a king stands against the tide of decline and does what is pleasing in God’s sight.

Asa starts out his rule in Judah by doing what pleases God, but in the end he turns to a treaty with pagan Syria (Aram) rather than relying on God to give him victory over Israel (the northern kingdom which is consistently less godly than Judah).

Hanani the seer (prophet) exposes Asa’s folly in trusting his own alliances or wisdom rather than God. Ultimately Asa seeks only the wisdom of his physicians rather than asking God for healing for his foot disease, and so the disease kills him within two years. This is not an indictment of medical professionals – medicine was not yet fully developed and physicians were more like witch doctors than doctors!

Hanani tells Asa this powerful truth: The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Yet Asa does not choose full commitment to God. The Psalmist also tells us the benefits of such trust: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.

We miss so much when we compromise our commitment to God; He wants us to succeed and to prosper.

Have a great day!