We had a tornado warning yesterday morning at 4 am. Loud alarms, winds, and torrential rains pelted the windows. I slept right through it. That is until my husband woke me to go to the basement. I thought about how we take comfort in buildings of brick and mortar to protect us. We like to depend on men and human-made structures, but more on that later.
I want to talk about a king named Asa. King Asa is unique. His name in Hebrew means “Doctor” or ‘Physician.’ The interesting thing about that is, he developed a serious foot disease, and the bible says, “Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned ONLY to the physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12 NLT).
However, this king can teach us how to fight and win battles and have peace in our life.
The Father sends a prophet to King Asa. He sends Azariah, and his name means “Helped by God.” King Asa is going to get some help from HaShem through this prophet and boy does he need it!
Azariah says, “Listen to me, Asa!” he shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you” (2nd Chronicles 15:2 NLT).
‘Seek Him,’ this sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? So as I was reading further, it said that the people were not seeking God, nor obeying Him.
“Great vexations were upon ALL the inhabitants of the countries and nation was destroyed by nation, and city of city, For God did vex them with ADVERSITIES” (2 Chronicles 15:5-6 ASV).
Who vexed them? The Father did.
HaShem is a good God, but like any good Father, He does punish His children to try and get them to turn around and obey Him and seek His ways.
So I thought I knew what that word vexation meant. Wrong.
Vexation is the state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried. Something that also causes harassment “the cares and vexations of life.”
Are you worried, frustrated and annoyed? Hopefully, this reading will help us have more peace.
So after the prophet who was named “Help from God” left Asa’s company, Asa got busy.
“Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the LORD which was in front of the porch of the LORD” (2nd Chronicles 15:8 NASB).
King Asa did something else that amazes me. Very few men today would do this. His mother was the queen, but he removed her because she had made an idol in a grove. Asa cut down her grove and stomped it, burnt it, and poured it into the river Kidron.
Kidron means to mourn.
Oh, my! He stood up to his own mother.
Then the people gathered to him in abundance when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. It goes on to say they made offerings unto the Father and entered into a covenant with Him. It goes on further in detail describing all the high and mighty things this king Asa did, and then something astounding happens.
“And there was NO MORE WAR unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa” (2nd Chronicles 15:19 NASB).
So ten years of peace. Can you picture that for America? If only we would do what this King did. They had no more war–no more vexation, or worry, or strife and most of all, no more torment!
When we remove the idols, we place HaShem FIRST. He is with us while we are with Him.
So something happens to King Asa’s good streak. You ready?
“In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah” (2nd Chronicles 16:1 NASB).
What do you think this king does? He removed the silver and gold from the temple. He steals from Adonai’s House and he gives it to a man named Ben-hadad of Aram. He asked him to make a treaty with him and go break his treaty with Baasha the king of Israel so he will leave him alone. And you know what, Ben-hadad agrees, and everything seems to work out. King Asa conquers his enemies and is free again, or so he thinks, but our Father has eyes, and He sees all.
“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because YOU have put YOUR TRUST in the king of Aram INSTEAD of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time you RELIED on the Lord, and he handed them over to you. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a FOOL you have been! From now on you will be at war. (2nd Chronicles 16:7-9 NLT).
NO MORE PEACE!
We must trust our Father and not man. When we put our trust in men and wealth, we can end up being vexed with torment.
What happens to the nice prophet who comes to give him a word?
“Asa became so angry with Hanani for saying this that he threw him into prison and put him in stocks. At that time Asa also began to oppress some of his people” (2nd Chronicles 16:10 NLT).
How sad. A man who had God’s favor and peace fell into fear and disobediance and lost it all. May we each seek Abba and keep our eyes on Him and His ways to save us.
Behind the Name
Photography by Ândrēw Yīsrâ’Ęl