In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the doctors.
2 Chronicles 16:12 (NIV)
Read: 2 Chronicles 16
Consider: We come to our final post on King Asa and his reign. Asa had started well and was given the accolade of ‘doing what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord’. Despite this, the end of his reign was not so auspicious.
In 2 Chronicles 16:7-10 we read:
At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: ‘Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.’ Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.
It is interesting that having seen the deliverance of God against the Cushites and Libyans, Asa relied on human help when confronted by the army of Baasha, King of Israel. Asa didn’t like what Hanani the prophet (meaning ‘God is gracious’) told him and he reacted very badly, becoming angry, then enraged. He put Hanani in prison, but didn’t stop there. In his anger he also oppressed some of the people. Asa’s reaction was noticeably over the top.
Asa’s dependence on human wisdom was also evident towards the end of his life. We are told in 2 Chronicles 16:12 that he suffered disease in his feet (perhaps gout) and sought help from the doctors. The words ‘… even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD …’, give an indication of his continued reliance on human agencies.
What are we to learn from these episodes in Asa’s life? I think the main thing is that seeking God’s help should not be a last resort reaction when faced with difficulties. Whatever the situation, God should be consulted. What about health issues? If we truly believe that God should be involved in every aspect of our lives, then health issue cannot be off-limits. Don’t misunderstand me, it is important that we utilise the knowledge and ability of the medical profession. However, as Christians we should not forget to seek help from God and it certainly should not be the last thing we do when things become desperate.
Pray: Father, thank you that you want us to seek your help in the good and bad things in life. When we are faced with major issues, may we come to you first rather than last. Amen