Yesterday I wrote about Rehoboam, who was a "bad' king, not an "evil" one.
Asa is an example of the other end of the spectrum. He is one of only a few kings called "good" (Jotham, whom we'll meet later, is another). In the same way Rehoboam was bad two ways--bad in behavior and bad in effectiveness--Asa was good both ways. He was a righteous man, and because he led his nation to righteous living, his kingdom was at peace. As verse 6 says, "God kept the peace."
Sigh. What a wonderful eulogy for a man.
What earned Asa the appellation of "good"?
- He did things right in God's eyes. This must have started in his personal life. He not only obeyed the law, his heart matched his behavior. In all the myriad of ways we have a choice of how to behave, Asa did things right. Not 100% of the time. None of us (except Jesus) do that. Shall we say an A for effort.
- He got rid of the centers of pagan worship, including the sex-and-religion groves that popped back up as soon as they were smashed.
- He led his people back to God. He not only told his people to follow the commandments, he also told them to "center their lives in God"--probably a reflection of the way he lived himself. He urged to do as God commanded through Moses--to write the law on their hearts and to talk about it wherever they were, whatever they were doing.
God honored their obedience with peace--which in turn allowed Asa to turn to fortifying Judah's defenses. Success followed success.
Don't get sidetracked--make God the center of your lives.
That's God's measure of a good man.
Pray God I have enough left over to fortify my defenses, and not only repel attacks. (don't seem to be so well in those areas, however.)