You have acted foolishly in this.
You have acted foolishly in this.
Asa, who succeeded his father Abijah as king of Judah, was a good king for a number of years. His reign was one of prosperity, and the land was undisturbed for ten years. The reason for this is summed up in 2Chronicles 14:2—“Asa did good and right in the sight of the LORD his God.” The writer goes on to enumerate a number of things he did which were pleasing to God including “and commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment” (2Chronicles 14:4). Asa was blessed greatly during his reign, and Judah with him, because of their faithfulness.
When told by Azariah, the prophet, “The LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you,” Asa “took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the LORD which was in front of the porch of the LORD” (2Chronicles 15:2,8). As a result of his faithfulness, and God’s blessing, many in Israel, who had previously forsaken the Lord and His way, returned to faithfulness: “He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who resided with them, for many defected to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him” (2Chronicles 15:9).
However, like other kings who prospered greatly, Asa became proud and independent and in his last days forsook the Lord. He made a league with the king of Syria when Baasha, king of Israel came up against Judah. Instead of relying upon the Lord as before, Asa now indicated by his actions that he was self-sufficient, and did not need the Lord. Upon such action, Hanani the seer came to Asa, and said, “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars” (2Chronicles 16:9). This declaration of truth made Asa angry, and he had the seer put in prison (2Chronicles 16:10).
Such things, according to Paul in Romans 15:4, were written for our learning. We should therefore profit from such examples. We should be impressed with the fact that God blesses the faithful, but punishes the disobedient. Also, that He is no respecter of persons. In spite of the fact that Asa and others during the Old Testament period were faithful for awhile and then sinned, it did not keep God from punishing them. Neither did it keep Him from revealing the dark spots in their lives, proving that He renders according to one’s deeds.
Lessons in Faithfulness
There are a number of lessons that can be learned from this account of Asa. Let us notice a few of them. The fact that a man is faithful and prospers for a number of years is no guarantee of continued faithfulness; nor is it assurance that God will overlook some sin, or a short period of unfaithfulness. Judah did well to follow Asa during the time he did good and right in the eyes of the Lord, but they would have been foolish to continue following him when he forsook the Lord. It would have been foolishness for them to reason as some do today, “Well, he used to be faithful, and was a sound teacher, so I am going to continue following him.” To blindly follow one who has been right, accepting all that he teaches without proving it by the word of God, is indeed to act foolishly. Every teaching should be tried, or tested, by the divine standard, the Word of God; and not by what anyone says or thinks is right. Paul said, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1Thessalonians 5:21-22).
Lessons in Foolishness
Asa also acted foolishly by becoming angry at the seer. He simply delivered God’s message. But because it did not please Asa, and was a condemnation of his action, he had him imprisoned. This, however, did not change God’s judgment; it did not alter one word of what He had said. Some today could well take warning from this. To become angry at the teacher, when he is simply delivering God’s message, and render evil to him, does not in any way change the word of God; for we shall face it in judgment (John 12:48; Revelation 20:10-12).
Lessons in Influence
Another observation of value is that those who have forsaken the Lord and His law will come to influence those who are faithfully doing God’s will, as those of Israel did with Asa. The influence of faithfulness is great, and we should see to it that our lives are influences for that which is good and right. May God grant courage to all who contend earnestly for the faith, that they may ever be stedfast.
To forsake the Lord and His word, and rely upon one’s wisdom and strength is to act foolishly. “You have acted foolishly in this” should never need to be said of any child of God, and when it is necessary, it is to one’s disadvantage. Therefore, live so that such can never truthfully be said of you!