We have been studying and recognizing that the blessings of God are directly linked to a person, leader and/or nation’s obedience to the laws of God. There are direct, predictable consequences for choices made by people, both for health, prosperity and a long life, as well as famine, disease and death.
Israel was led by 33 kings that the Lord describes as “did evil.” The names of these kings are:
1. Saul (1 Chronicles 10:13)
2. Solomon (1 Kings 11:6)
3. Jeroboam (13:35)
4. Rehoboam (14:22)
5. Abijam (15:3)
6. Nadab (15:26)
7. Baasha (15:34)
8. Elah (16:9)
9. Zimri (16:19)
10. Omri (16:25)
11. Ahab (16:30)
12. Ahaziah (22;52)
13. Jehoram (2 Kings 3:2)
14. Jehoram (8:18)
15. Ahaziah (8:27)
16. Jehu (10:31)
17. Athaliah (11:1)
18. Jehoahaz (13:2)
19. Jehoash (13:11)
20. Jeroboam (14:24)
21. Zachariah (15:9)
22. Shallum (15:15)
23. Menahem (15:18)
24. Pekahiah (15:24)
25. Pekah (15:28)
26. Ahaz (16:24)
27. Hoshea (17:2)
28. Manasseh (21:2)
29. Amon (21:20)
30. Jehoshaz (23:32)
31. Jehoiakim (23:37)
32. Jehoiakin (24:9)
33. Zedekiah (24:19)
Israel was also led by nine kings that the Scriptures describes as “did right.” The names of these righteous kings that brought God’s blessings upon themselves and the nation of Israel were:
1. David (1 Kings 11:33)
2. Asa (15:33)
3. Jehoshaphat (22:43)
4. Jehoash (2 Kings 12:2)
5. Amaziah (14:3)
6. Uzziah (15:3 & 2 Chronicles 26:4)
7. Jotham (2 Kings 15:34)
8. Hezekiah (18:3)
9. Josiah (22:2)
2 Chronicles 14:1-15: “1So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:”.
How did King Asa do what “was good and right” in the eyes of the Lord? Remember, faith is more than mental assent. Faith is action; it is obedience. Hebrews 11 tells us what the men of faith did and how they lived. Let us read what Asa did and how he lived to be one of the nine righteous kings of Israel.
“3For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: 4And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 6And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest. 7Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.”
King Asa started his kingship by taking action (living by faith). He removed and destroyed the idolatrous altars and gods. He even removed his own mother from being queen for her sins of idolatry. This is what I call actions of faith or faith actions. If pastors in our churches would deal with peoples’ idols (television, lusts, too much sports, hunting, etc., whatever has become their idol), then their churches would experience revival. If our political leaders in our nation would take a stand and come against idolatry, immorality, abortion, etc. in our nation by calling it sin and exhorting the nation to repent and change the laws, this nation would start to prosper again. We see that King Asa called on the entire nation to obey the laws of God and he took the idols out of every city. The President of the United States could exhort the people of this nation to return to it’s Christian roots; it’s original foundation found within the original colonies. It might not be politically correct but it is certainly within his rights as an individual and a politician. Too many of our politicians pay lip service to Christianity because they only want to get you to vote for them. Few, I believe, are truly “born again.” The President could lead a spiritual revival back to Jesus Christ and make a distinction between the real God and all other gods. The President could take his stand as a Christian if he was loyal to Jesus Christ and not his constituents. The President could call homosexuality a sin and identify the people indulging in this practice as sodomites. He could lead the way in overturning the laws and changing them back to the way they were prior to 1973 when sodomy was a crime and it was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a “psycho-sexual disorder”. In 1973, abortion also was a crime and someone would be guilty of murder if they killed the baby (fetus) inside the mother’s womb. Yes, the President of the United States could call on the people of America to repent for their sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior if that particular president really trusted in Christ and not in himself. This is entirely possible, as earlier politicians called on Christ in America’s history.
“8And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour. 9And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah. 10Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee. 12So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled.”
Here we see that the enemy had 1 million soldiers and 300 chariots against King Asa’s 580,000 men. Asa did exactly what God desires. Asa prayed to God putting his trust and the nation’s welfare in God’s hands. And, since Asa was in a right relationship with God, as the Scripture indicates by saying Asa did “what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord God,” God answered Asa’s prayers positively. He fought against Asa’s enemies and defeated them so that the nation was blessed.
“13And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil. 14And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them. 15They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.”
What a tremendous victory and testimony to a nation that their king has favor with God. If the President of the United States exhorts this nation to repent against idolatry, immorality (adultery, fornication, co-habitation, sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pornography), killing the innocent (abortion, Terry Schivo, etc.) and dividing the land of Israel, then if Americans would truly repent no nation or terriorist would be able to prevail against us. We would not be in the mess that we find ourselves in Iraq. Also, we would have the wisdom to confront and handle Iran, Syria, North Korea, China, and Russia, all whom I believe are plotting to attack us.
2 Chronicles 15:1-19: “1And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: 2And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.”
Here we see the Holy Spirit working through the Prophet Azariah as he warns Asa as well as the people of Judah and Benjamin that the laws of sowing and reaping certainly apply to them (Job 4:8). The Science of Judgment is in effect with the ramifications of blessings and prosperity or the verdict from the “cup of iniquity law,” of chastisement, punishment and destruction.
“3Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. 4But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. 5And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. 6And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. 7Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”
This long season was the last 14 years of King Rhohoboam’s reign (11:17; 12:1), and 3 years of King Abijah’s reign (I Kings 15:1-4). Prior to these leaders, King Solomon forsook God (1 Kings 11:1-9). Consequently, the people both individually as well as corporately as a nation suffered the consequences for their idolatry and rebellion. Leadership clearly has much to do with the success of a home, business, ministry, church or nation. King Asa understood the message/warning of the prophet and took it as a signal to continue with the reforms. Thus, the nation experienced revival and prosperity.
“8 And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD.9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.”
Whenever we determine to follow through with genuine repentance and works of faith, which are acts of obedience, the people will be blessed and others will notice and follow. This is how to truly prosper with a business or to build a strong church. Follow God with all your heart and God‘s favor and blessings will be with you and others will notice and want to be with you. People are looking for the presence of God and that glory is with righteous people and leadership.
“11 And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep.12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul.13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. 15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about.”
Look how serious the people were about revival. They wanted God’s favor, anointing and prosperity. They gave God the firstfruits of the spoil. They determined that whoever rebelled against following and obeying God would be put to death. Because of their sincerity of heart and acts of faith, God gave them prosperity and rest. The land was at peace because God was with them and prevented a spirit of attack from coming into the hearts and minds of their enemies. All the people not only made a covenant to obey God but they also worshipped God. As my article titled “Who Do You Worship” indicated, when people really worship God, they consequently obey and desire to serve Him. They want God’s will and God’s kingdom to be established in their own lives, families, businesses, communities and nations. This is what brings peace and prosperity. This is what brings and keeps the blessings and health of a nation. When true revival comes to a person or nation, they will worship God just as King David and the multitudes have done in the Psalms and as is described in the book of Revelation.
2 Chronicles 15:16-19: “16 And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being Queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 And there was no more war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.”
King Asa’s heart was perfect regarding the sin of idolatry. He even disciplined his own mother; many leaders will never deal with sins in their own households. Remember Asa was considered one of the good kings, which there were only nine who God had classified as “good.” There were 33 bad kings listed in the scriptures who ruled Israel and brought on the judgment of God because of their bad leadership and sins. According to God and verified in the Scriptures, there are different types of sins and different degrees of punishment in hell and rewards in heaven. There are sins of rebellion that bring death if not repented of and there are sins of what I classify as “weaknesses or divine character flaws.” Asa was perfect but not sinless. We will now read some sins he committed that caused God to be sad and caused his early death.
2 Chronicles 16:1-14: “1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah. 2 Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 3 “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 silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.” 4 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali.”
The first mistake of King Asa was making a treaty with Syria thus putting his trust in Syria instead of God. Remember earlier in his life when Ethiopia invaded, King Asa called on God and God Himself fought and delivered Asa and the nation from their enemies.
“5 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work.”
The reason why King Baasha was building Ramah, was to stop his people from leaving his apostate 10 tribe kingdom to go to Judah, where King Asa reigned, to worship the living God. If only Baasha would have worshipped Jehovah instead of the gods of the heathen, his people would not have been trying to escape. It reminds me of people who used to try escaping from East to West Berlin. Bondage and slavery is never satisfying and this is what idolatry brings people. Again, King Asa was a “good king” in the sight of God whereas King Baasha was a “bad or evil king” in the sight of God. Nevertheless, King Asa was making mistakes that caused God not to fully bless or answer Asa’s prayers. This is exactly the way it is today in our lives. Many Christians are not deliberately rebelling against God and serving other gods or sinning in immorality, etc., yet neither are they fully trusting in God. Many times they rely on doctors and other people much more than God Himself.
“6 Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.”
We see that Asa’s plan worked. When King Benhadad of Syria joined with Asa, then King Baasha had to stop building Ramah because he had to now defend the cities of northern Israel which were under attack from Syria. This caused God to be angry with Asa because he put his trust in a foreign country instead of God.
“7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8 Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
God sent his prophet Hanani to rebuke King Asa. Instead of repenting, Asa put God’s spokesman in prison. Not only did he put Hanani in prison, but Asa began oppressing some of the people in his kingdom. This is so typical of people and even of Christians. When we do not want to receive correction, we become angry at the very people of God who God has sent to help us.
“10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people. 11 The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.”
King Asa is a classic example to us all of how we can start off pleasing God and totally serving Him with all of our heart, yet before we die make some terrible mistakes. King Asa up to this point had made three mistakes that are recorded for all of us to learn from. The first was trusting more in a foreign king and nation than trusting in God (even though earlier in his life he had trusted in God more than in anyone else). The second mistake was persecuting God’s servant; the prophet Hanani, who was just bringing a word from God to help Asa turn around and receive God’s blessings once again. The third major mistake was oppressing some people who now took the brunt of Asa’s anger because Asa was not happy with God trying to correct him. How many times do we as people make other people around us miserable with our bad attitude, when in actuality we are totally at fault? Now let us read the fourth, huge mistake, which was his last.
“12 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. 13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes, and they made a huge fire in his honor.”
The last gigantic mistake that King Asa made was when he put his trust in physicians more than Jehovah. It is not clear whether Asa used foreign physicians instead of those from his own kingdom. Foreign physicians would sometimes use charms, incantations, mystic arts etc., to expel diseases. At any rate, God accused Asa of trusting more in physicians than in Himself. This is a huge lesson for all of us to take warning from. We can start off looking to God but when we become successful, we may start to trust more in our own wisdom. Thus, we allow our relationship with God to become weak.
PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS TO BECOME PART OF OUR MAILING LIST AND HELP US SOUND THE ALARM TO THE NATIONS AND TO AMERICA. P.T.L.
© 2005 World Ministries International