Here in chapter fifteen we get a glimpse of how tumultuous the kingdom is. Jeroboam rules most of Israel and Judah is being led by David’s great-grandson Abijam who is not really following God. Though victorious in battle over Jeroboam his reign is short, a mere three years and then his son takes the helm.
Abijam’s son Asa is a man like his great-great-grandfather David. He loves the Lord and expends serious effort eradicating the idolatry and sexual sin that has overwhelmed Judah. In fact, he even goes against his own pagan grandmother in destroying her idol and removing her from power.
Asa certainly had a heart to do right, but struggled like the rest of us. In 2 Chronicles 14-16 we get a much more detailed account of his reign. The main area where he stumbled was against Jeroboam’s successor Baasha. (Baasha killed Jeroboam’s son Nadab who was king for two years and wiped out the entire family.)
As Baasha came against Judah, Asa reacted out of fear. Instead of trusting God for the victory, He took the treasures from God’s house (which he had worked to restore) and gave them to the Syrian king (Baasha’s ally) so that he would betray him. This may have spared Judah, but this would be the start of his fall away from God.
In Asa’s later years, as life got harder (disease, unbelief and anger) his dependence on God decreased instead of increased. Thus we have a man that started well, had a good heart, but did not finish well.
As life’s challenges come against us, we can either become more dependent on God or less. It’s through our dependence that He shines brightest. You see times of struggle are magnifying moments that reveal our true relationship with the Lord. 1 Peter 1:7 refers to the refining of gold by fire. It is only through the hottest fires that the impurities can be burned away. Our trials are part of the process of refining us to be the children of God He intends us to be.
Asa started well, but because of challenges did not finish well. Let’s not let this be said of us. I for one want to finish better than I started and leave a legacy of trusting God. He is worthy of our trust, no matter the circumstance.
1 Kings 15