I was born in a west African country with a rich history of storytelling. As a small child, I can remember neighbors sharing Anansi tales in the evenings. I have an appetite for good stories and, probably for this reason, have always loved the intriguing narratives of the Old Testament.
My hope this fall is to study the story-line of Judah/Israel’s kings--from Rehoboam to Josiah (1 Kings 12 - 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 10 - 36). This period in Israel’s history is filled with gross sin and shocking apostasy--and yet we find moments of reform and hope. Beginning with the southern kingdom of Judah, I’ve chosen four “good” kings (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, and Hezekiah) to highlight in the next weeks ahead. Let’s study these narratives and glean some good news for our instruction and encouragement in Christ!
King Asa and the Greatest Love of All
2 Chronicles 14 - 16; 1 Kings 15:9-24
We meet Asa in 2 Chronicles 14:2 as the fifth king of Judah in the line of David. The first thing we learn of him is this: [He] did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.” This favorable description is supported in 2 Chronicles 15 with an account of Asa’s religious reforms.
Following the rule of his wicked father, Abjiah (also known as Abijam, 1 Kings 15:1-3), Asa heeds the words of the prophet Azariah and makes a covenant to seek the Lord with all his heart. The earnestness of his devotion is seen in his removal of idols, his repairs to the altar of the Lord, and even the dismissal of his mother Maacah from the office of queen mother “because she had made a detestable image for Asherah” (2 Chronicles 15:16). In this, Asa puts Deuteronomy 13:6-10 on display, honoring God’s Law above his own mother (who actually should have been killed, according to the Law).
Asa’s attempt at faithfulness brings to mind Luke 14:26. There, Jesus states: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Our love for Christ ought to make all other loves seem like hatred in comparison. But we often struggle with this, honoring others above the Lord.
In what ways do we put others above God’s Word (whether our children, other family members, friends, or people we admire)? We are called to love others deeply, outdoing one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10). May our obedience of Romans 12:10 never conflict with Deuteronomy 13:6-10, rather, let our honor of others reveal our greater love for God.
*Thank you for reading! Good News Friday is a weekly blog series that reminds us of the sufficiency of Scripture for our instruction and encouragement. Click HERE for more good news and HERE for the Greatest News ever!