“Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God”
Is that hard? Is that achievable? What makes us “right in the eyes of the Lord”?
Well…let’s take a look.
Does anyone even know who Asa was? Not someone we study often, not like Moses, or Noah, Adam and Eve, or Paul. Everyone knows them.
In consistantly reading through the first 5 books of the Bible, there is one constant:
They did evil in the Lord’s sight.
Chapter after chapter, verse after verse, king after king, this theme is continuous. There are some good ones sprinkled in, but the bad ones seem to be ever present.
Asa was the King of Judah and while he was King, they had peace for 10 years. Why did they have peace? He followed the Lord’s commands, he rid the city of pagan worship, and he gave credit to God for everything. In everything he did, he depended on God. He trusted Him. Asa was told something very powerful:
“The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2
In our day, we don’t have to worry about God forsaking us, if we are believers and followers of the Lord Jesus. But then, before the birth of Christ, that was a serious offense as we have learned.
So, now, what makes us right in the eyes of God?
Does reading my Bible everyday make me better than someone who does not? Does praying everyday to my Holy Fathergive me special powers? Does God answer my prayers first because I talk to Him more? Does refraining from smoking, drinking, random se/xu/al par/tne/rs, or drug use give me a bigger mansion in Heaven? Does God love me more than someone who does all those things?
If doing all of these good things gets me to Heaven, then I’m saved by works, not saved by the blood of Jesus, which would nullify the reason for the cross. I do not read my Bible everyday for brownie points or to make myself look better, that would be arrogance and a sin. We can get ourselves in trouble trying to make ourselves look better to other people, then we are seeking approval of MAN, not God….which would be sin. It’s a fine line there.
Asa aimed at pleasing God, and studied to approve himself to Him. Asa was not interested in anything else other than pleasing God. Changing my life and becoming Christ-like is out of my love for Christ alone.
“All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly and He was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.” 2 Chron. 15:15
Happy are those that walk by this rule, not to do what is right in their own eyes, or in the eyes of the world, but which is right in God’s sight. We find by experience that it is good to seek the Lord; it gives us rest; while we pursue the world, we meet with nothing but frustration.
Last point, pursuing God, and seeking His approval does NOT mean our lives will magically become easy and problem-free. We do not choose a Christ-like life for God to make our lives easy… rub the genie in the bottle and all our problems disappear. The world is FULL of people that “believed” in God, but the first sign of trouble, they get angry with God, and turn away.
Judah’s faith and trust was tested in this point. Armies came. Asa prayed to God and he fully depended on God. Our faith should NOT be based on what God can do for us. “I’ll believe in You if You save me from all the world’s problems, prosper my family, and sprinkle chocolate syrup on all my ice cream.”
A formidable army of Ethiopians invaded Asa’s kingdom. This evil came upon them, that their faith in God might be tried. Asa’s prayer is short, but it is the real language of faith and expectation from God. When we go forth in God’s name, we cannot but prosper, and all things work together for the good of those whom He favors.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strenthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” 2 Chron. 16:9