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. – 2Chr. 16:10 NIV
Please click the link below to download the full text of this ministration.
It seems remaining faithful to the Lord was a huge task for Israel and their kings, whether as a united nation or divided , as in Northern and Southern kingdoms. The many experiences they had enjoying the support of Jehovah was still not sufficient to retain their faith in Him as it seems faithfulness to Him was only during difficult times. As soon as they experience relief and peace, they soon forget Jehovah and begin to either ignore and disrespect Him and His laws, or they outrightly become idolatrous and begins to worship other gods. Worse still is that, in a manner that reflects ingratitude, they immediately stop being loyal to Him, choosing to conveniently forget all His goodness – Psa. 103:2. One wonders how the Lord feels at this betrayal and disloyalty.
King Asa of Judah, did not behave differently. This is a king who is able to recall the advantages of being faithful and disadvantages of being unfaithful. He is aware of the reward of the unfaithfulness of Rehoboam, his grand-father, and the actions of Abijah, his father with regards to faithfulness to God. More importantly, his personal experience with regards to the Almighty God rewarding his faithfulness with victories over more powerful kingdoms, and the peace that has led to progress for his kingdom, should have been sufficient to encourage him to remain faithful to Jehovah, but all that seemed to mean nothing to him as he grew older. After spending thirty-six years of mostly peaceful reign, an event that could best be regarded as a test of his faithfulness to God happened with Baasha, who had taken over as the king of Israel (1Kgs. 15:25-34), choosing to lay a siege at Ramah against Judah – 2Chr. 16:1. Rather than go to the Lord whom he had always called upon for support, he chose to approach Ben-hadad, the king of Aram who was ruling in Damascus and a mere mortal like him, for support to overcome the threat of Baasha, king of Israel – 2Chr. 16:2-6. He did succeed with his strategy to stop the rebellion but his actions, seen as an act of unfaithfulness by the Almighty God incurred the wrath of Jehovah.
In a message sent by the Lord to him through Hanani, the Seer, the Almighty God made it known to him that he will never stop fighting wars. This is because he relied on Ben-hadad rather than the Almighty God who had saved him during previous wars. His eyes that range throughout the earth was only going to strengthen those whose hearts were fully committed to Him. This definitely will not include those who were unfaithful – 1Chr. 16:7-9.
Rather than seek forgiveness from the Lord, like his grand-father, Rehoboam did when he was in a similar situation (2Chr. 12:5-8), he chose to get angry, imprisoned the Seer and commenced a brutal oppression of the people – 2Chr. 16:10. He had lost faith completely in the Lord for no obvious reason, as even when he was afflicted with a severe disease on his feet in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, he chose to rely on Physicians rather than call on the Lord – 1Chr. 16:11-12.
Many Christians there are today who are in a phase of their lives that is very similar to where King Asa found himself due to their opting for solutions that do not indicate that they have faith in God or directly relying on man rather than Jehovah in very crucial moments. Like Asa, their decision seemed to look like the right one, as the immediate and sometimes long term expectations were met, but are unable to see that their decision was hurtful to the Lord, sufficiently to attract His anger. For such Christians, the end justifies the means but not with Jehovah who is very much concerned about the means of achieving the success in reference. Accompanying such success most times are events that tend to mar the joy of such achievements, an event which some people may want to associate with enemies who do not wish them well. Obviously, this is not always true as evident in this situation. Rather than trying to identify people who are jealous of this success, it may be a proper approach to eliminating the bitterness in the joy, if such can re-assess the applied solution that led to the success.
Asa definitely did not believe the message of Hanani, which was why he ordered his imprisonment, and of course the attempt of anyone to make him see the truth in the message probably accounted for his brutal oppression of anyone who seemed to canvass the position of Hanani. He simply could not have been wrong in the solution he applied, as he believes that the yardstick for determining the approval of Jehovah, for the applied solution was the success that resulted from such a move. You may indeed have been successful with the solution you applied to that situation, but that in no way means that it has the approval of Jehovah. Do a sincere review of that solution that led to that success which has bitterness accompanying it, and you may actually see that the Almighty God has not approved the solution. That may just help you to seek his forgiveness for applying a solution that dis-honours Him, rather than sticking to your opinion that will make you lose the approval of Jehovah due to the seeking of the support of men.
May God grant us the wisdom to apply solutions that will only originate from Him to our situations thereby avoiding His anger in Jesus name. Amen.