The story of Asa is a tragedy, one that begins with great hope and peace but ends dismally, in destructive pride. In chapter 14 the author repeats the word “rest” three times, concluding the meaning of the repetition in v.5 with, “He had no war in those years.” The land had rest, the kingdom had rest, the land had rest, and he has no war in those years. The point is abundantly clear; with the Lord you will find rest. With the rest also came revival. There is a church in Liverpool Ohio, on the outskirts of the Pittsburgh presbytery, that is a lone bastion of hope in a town falling apart. Multiple churches line this street in the center of the city, but the congregations are a remnant of what once was a revival. In towns and places like these, we see ruins, but we pray again for renewal. The revival to ruins is reminiscent of Asa who continues to fight against the idolatry of his day. It was a constant battle for peace; the tearing down of the high places, the removing of the Asherah, even the removal of the queen mother. Sadly, in chapter 16 we read that while Asa fought well, he did not finish the race. In his own pride he did not seek the Lord, both in war and for his own health. Asa perished in his pride.
Reflect: There are 3 ideas to reflect on from these chapters: Rest, Revival, and Pride. As you consider rest, ask yourself this question: Do you have peace? Not just personally, but does your community have peace? Your city? Your nation? In what ways can you contribute to peacemaking? As you consider revival, note that revival came second, but peace came first. Are you praying for revival in your city? Are you asking the Lord to move a nation to himself? Lastly, consider the pride of Asa. This is a man who saw the Lord save Judah from destruction and yet still, at the end of his life, died in his pride. Do you seek the Lord first? That was the charge against Asa, that he did not seek the Lord first. Pray and ask the Lord to keep you from pride and that you would seek Him first in everything.
Connect: Matthew 5:9
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
- Rev. Joseph Bianco
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.