“And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”2 Chronicles 167-9
Asa, the King of Judah (the southern kingdom) was a good ol’ boy from the south (2 Chron. 15:17). For 35 years he fought the good fight, unlike many of his predecessors. But it was in the last four years of his reign where the whole thing went pear shaped. This story in 2 Chron 16 tells us how Asa’s short lived downward spiral began.
It begins with Baasha, the king of Israel (the northern kingdom). Don’t you hate it when the north and south can’t get along? Baasha starts building the city of Ramah to box Asa in, cutting off supply lines. Well Asa is having none of that; so he shoots a text to his boy Ben-hadad in Syria.
Ben replies, “I got you bro”, and comes to his rescue. Baasha is forced to back off. On top of that Asa was able to steal all his building materials to build two cites of his own. Now that is what I call a victory. Asa beat Baasha without lifting a finger and even got him to pay for two new cities. Man! In your face Baasha!
But then the prophet shows up. And if you want to ruin a victory party, then just call in the preacher. Hanani walks in and the music stops. You could hear the ice melting. While looking around at the half empty Champaign glasses and the untouched vegetable platter, He tells Asa, “Yea you won this one, but it wasn’t because you trusted in the Lord. Your trust was in the king of Syria, not the Lord. The preacher turns to look at Asa, “Fine. You want to fight on your own, go ahead. The Lord is going to give you war the rest of your days — good luck.”
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”
2 Chronicles 16:9
We learn two important lessons from Asa
- It is possible to blow it all in the final years. We cannot relax on past victories, we have to stay focused and finish strong.
- A win that does not come from Christ is still a loss.