Today’s reading is 2 Chronicles 15 and 16, 1 Kings 16, and Philemon.
In 2 Chronicles 15 and 16, we learn about the life of King Asa of Judah.
King Asa turned to the Lord after Azariah, the son of Obed, spoke truth to Asa saying in 2 Chronicles 15:2.
2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
Azarariah went on in 2 Chronicles 15:4 to describe how Israel was without God but when they turned to Him, He found them. King Asa responded with courage by turning to God putting away all the detestable idols (2 Chronicles 15:8). He was on fire for the Lord following God for many years.
However, in his last years, something changed. He turned away from God for an unknow reason in his 36th year of his reign. He took the treasures from the house of the Lord and gave them to the king of Syria as a covenant to get them to break their covenant with Baasha who was the king of Israel and it backfired. Syria did not support them.
Then, Hanani, the seer, delivered the famous verse in 2 Chronicles 15:9…
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless towards him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”
I wish the story of Asa had a happy ending, but it doesn’t. In the 39th year of his reign, he got a disease in his feet and even then did not turn to the Lord. In the 41st year of his reign, he died without turning to God.
Unfortunately, Asa did not finish well. As with most things in this life on Earth, it’s not how you start but how you finish.
The criminal on the cross next to Jesus in Luke 23:49-43 may not have started well, but he gave his life to Jesus and Jesus said they would be together in Heaven. He finished well!
Have you not started well with this life on Earth? That’s ok…we can learn from the man on the cross next to Jesus…it’s how you finish that matters!
Have you started this life pretty well following Jesus? Let’s learn from Asa and continue to stay close to Jesus throughout all of our lives and finish well!