Reading through the Bible together
It is deplorable that another succession took place in Judah and no change was made. There is a lot of expectation when a new leader is elected. There are hopes for better economic outlook, peace and personal prosperity! We have witnessed this expectation in several nations. Promises are made, people vote in the hope that there will be a change for good. This was not the case with the people of Judah. The Bible just says that Abijam "walked in the sins of his father!" It was a short reign but things stayed the same. Finally, we have Asa, a king who made the difference. "He did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord." He started a reform by getting rid of the sodomites, destroying idols, and even removing his grandmother from being Queen Mother because she had made a Canaanite idol and worshiped it.
Quite an impressive leader! In spite of all his efforts, Asa was not able to get rid of the high places. These were places of worship located on a hill, in the open country! Many of these pagan high places have been discovered by Archeologists. When the people of God moved to Canaan the Lord gave them the command to destroy all these high places. The sanctuary in the desert was the place of worship and the Temple in Jerusalem would become the central place to worship God.
While Asa was loyal to the Lord all his days, he made a mistake! He took the treasures from the Lord's Temple and with them went to Benhadad, the heathen Syrian king, and offered him the treasurers that belong to God's Temple, hoping that he would help him settle things with Baasha, who had killed the son of Jeroboam, and had become king over all Israel. By giving the Syrian king the Temple treasurers, Asa had hoped that he would secure his help against Baasha who had invaded parts of Judah. Instead of placing his reliance and trust in God, Asa pursued his own path and pays the Syrian King to help achieve his plans. God cannot bless alliances with heathen kings. When Asa became old, he was diseased in his feet and died. Unfortunately, many in Judah continued to worship false gods in the high places and Baasha continued in the wicked way of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. Why is it that without good leadership and trust in God, we have a tendency to fall back into our old ways?
Retired GC Vice-President