Never forget…

Photo by Glitchy Artist
 
This example of King Asa is a stern warning to us today about trusting in the Lord and not the world.   Asa had enjoyed great success as King of Judah because of near complete reliance on God.  He followed the commands of God, cut down asherah poles, turned his people away from following idols, and had great military victories.  He overcame a million man invading army relying on God – “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.””2 Chronicles‬ ‭14:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬. He even deposed his own mother in the name of the Lord – “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.”‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭15:16‬ ‭ESV
But even after all this success Asa still would falter in his faith, and it cost him.  
In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king’s house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, “There is a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.  Instead of relying on God, Asa fell into pride and instead chose to rely on his wealth and worldly connections to save himself from an impending attack.  In other words, he did it his way, instead of Gods way.  After having enjoyed peace and success in relying on God, he forgot the basis of his success and relied instead on the fruits of his past success instead the God who had delivered him so well to this point.  I think those of us in recovery are always one step from from falling into this trap.  We get good recovery time under our belts, and we forget how we got there.  We forget where we came from, and revert back to the old self reliance that got us into recovery to begin with. 
At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. 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. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.  Asa actually had success in the battle he undertook.  However, the very army he allied himself with in battle is the same army that the prophet announces will be his downfall.  And because Asa did not like the report he got, he put the prophet in prison and lashed out at some his citizens as well.  Isn’t that just like an addict??  We are all fine and happy as long as things go our way, and people tell us what we want to hear.  But don’t let trouble come!!  Don’t let someone not agree with us, or something not go our way!!  We revert quick in these situations!  Us against the world!!  We lash out, it’s everybody’s fault but ours!
 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.  Once we’ve turned away from relying on God to take care of us, it can be very hard correct ourselves and realign with God.  Asa is still stuck in his own pride and anger, and can’t humble himself to submit to God even in a life threatening illness.  He dies from this illness, still separated from God.  What a shame to be so successful for so long, only to lose that connection late in life.  This is why the 10th, 11th and 12th steps are so important to our recoveries.  We must stay plugged into his power.  It’s the power test saved us. It’s the power we need in order to carry out the will he has for us.  It’s the power we will need to stay sober until the day we die.  


“In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king’s house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, “There is a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease. Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah. At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. 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. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time. The acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier that had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer’s art, and they made a very great fire in his honor.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭16:1-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

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