from Lynda Lindsey
“But you, (Asa) take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” As soon as Asa heard these words…he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah… II Chronicles 15:7-8(a)
And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. II Chronicles 15:12-13
Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. II Chronicles 16:7(b)
Asa, early in his reign, did what was good and right in the Lord’s eyes. Asa courageously put away foreign, detestable idols, repaired God’s altar, and along with all Judah, covenanted with God to seek and obey Him with all their heart and soul. Judah rejoiced in the covenant oath they had made to seek God wholeheartedly. God, delighting in His people’s obedience, showed Himself strong and allowed Himself to be found and known. God, pleased that Asa relied on God’s strength, not man’s strength, in a key battle, defeated Judah’s enemy and granted rest and peace to the land.
Covenants carry a stipulation: if you obey the covenant, you will be blessed; if you disobey, you will be cursed. Asa’s initial spiritual reforms led the nation to enter into, and obey wholeheartedly, a covenant with God, which resulted in God’s many blessings on the king and the nation. Sadly, spiritual decline set in; near the end of Asa’s reign, Asa, who had once relied totally on God, broke covenant with God to make an alliance with the King of Syria. Asa’s heart was divided and no longer belonged wholly to God; as a consequence, the battle was lost and warfare would usurp peace.
Asa knew that God continually searches throughout the earth seeking to give His strong support to those whose heart is blameless, yet Asa forfeited God’s help and sought aid from earthly kings. The result? The enemy ran loose, peace was disrupted, the land was at war. We too, when we break covenant with God, break the bonds of fellowship and peace. The enemy exults, turmoil reigns, and we’re on our own, fighting our own battles, bereft of God’s mercy and strong support. Keep covenant with God. Seek, and keep seeking, God wholeheartedly. He is the way, the only way, of peace.