Pride is a tricky thing; it can creep up on us over time – slowly, almost imperceptibly – until, suddenly, we are overtaken by the sin of pride. This is what happened to Asa.
The divided kingdom was still young when Solomon’s great-grandson took the throne of Judah.
In general, the Bible speaks highly of Asa, king of Judah. His first 10years of rule were marked by peace… and his efforts to remove idolatry from Judah. He strengthened Judah’s defenses. He defeated a large army from Cush (modern Sudan) that had come up against him, despite overwhelming odds (2Chron. 14). When faced with opposing numbers that would have intimidated most people to the point of inaction, Asa knew where his strength lay: he asked God for help in a simply prayer, then moved forward in faith.
And, when his scheming grandmother, Maacah, wanted to win points with a crowd of idol-worshipers (2Chron. 15:16), Asa made the bold decision to strip her of her royal privilege, putting devotion to God above family loyalty.
We can learn from Asa’s simple, take-charge attitude. There’s no room for compromise with idolatrous ideas or practice. When it comes down to it, take a tough stand for what you know God wants.
* God gives courage to face bullies… and to do what’s right… and to do good despite opposition.
Later, a prophet named Azariah encouraged him to continue following the Lord, and Asa’s efforts to remove idolatry grew even stronger. It became so evident that God was with him that many people from the N.Kingdom of Israel left their country to join him in Judah (2Chron. 15).
But, even as Asa grew in his accomplishments, pride must have been growing in him, also.
This first became evident when King Asa was at war with King Baasha of Israel. Instead of relying on the Lord to help him, Asa bribed the Arameans, who bordered Israel on the northeast, to attack Israel. When the prophet Hanani rebuked Asa for this, Asa became enraged… and threw Hanani in prison. He then began to brutally oppress some of the people.
A few years later, Asa contracted a foot disease and refused to seek help from God; instead, he relied only on his doctors (2Chron. 16).
The pride in Asa’s heart had grown to full bloom.
Asa allowed pride to creep into his heart, even as he was doing great things for God. Maybe it was even these great deeds, themselves, that had caused Asa to become prideful.
Does pride have a foothold in your heart?
Find your security in God… and not in your own accomplishments.
You can read Asa’s story in 1Kings 15:8-24 & 2Chronicles 14-16.