Asa Faithful to His God
Monday Club Sermon
2 Chronicles 14:1-4
So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead…

We have watched the steady fall of the kingdom of Israel Judah also began in shame and ended in disaster, but its shame was not so unmixed nor its disaster so complete. The reason for this better fate is suggested in our text: the saving influence of good men interposed to hold the people to God and prosperity. Our lesson presents Asa as the righteous leader of his people.

1. Asa reformed the religion of Judah. Like Gideon, he began his rule with a bold attack upon the popular idolatry. The worship of Baal and Ashtoreth had clung to the people ever since they met it when entering Canaan, in spite of God's warning that for this very sin the inhabitants were cast out before them. In recent years Solomon had patronised it, Rehoboam encouraged and Abijah confirmed it; and under these royal leaders Judah had become fascinated with its worship and debauched with its hideous vice. But the reformer's axe went crashing through the groves. He was well named Asa("Physician," "Cure"), for he healed the hurt of his people. We hear of no resistance to his vigorous measures. The conscience of the nation yet answered to the conscience of the king: "the land was quiet before him."

2. Asa advanced the material prosperity of Judah. In the ten years of rest which God gave him "he built fenced cities, with walls and towers, gates and bars," to protect them from Israel on the north and Egypt on the south.

3. Passing now to determine the nature and the extent of Asa's influence, we find the cause of his success in his piety. He was a sound reformer, an able king, and a successful soldier, because he was faithful to his God. "He did that which was right, and commanded the people to serve the Lord." So, too, his best work for his subjects was upon their characters. Asa's influence was most important and enduring. He ascended the throne at a crisis in the nation's history. Israel was already twenty years along in its fatal transgression, and Judah was hastening after it. His father and grandfather had forsaken the righteousness of David and perpetuated the iniquity of Solomon, rather than his splendour or his wisdom. Had the succeeding reign of forty-one years followed the same course, we must believe that the current toward wickedness would have been set past turning. Had Asa been like Jeroboam, Judah would have gone down like Israel. Through Asa's faithfulness the old man's dying blessing has come to pass: "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy father's children shall bow down before thee, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler. The Jewish monarchy fell at last, but the real cause for which Asa struggled shall never perish. He who reads the story of Israel and Judah will mark with wonder the controlling power exercised by the king upon the religious faith of the nation. If it is written of one, "He did evil in the sight of the Lord," it is always true that "he made Israel to sin." If he worshipped Jehovah, his subjects worshipped with him. The character of the king decided the character of the people. The saving influence of righteous leaders. The power to lead others may come either from external circumstances or from personal qualities.

1. The influence given by external circumstances.

(1) Official rank gives authority. Asa did, as king, what he could never have accomplished as a private citizen. He had direct control over his dependents. A devout centurion will have a devout soldier to wait upon him. The moral influence of those in high stations is wide and strong. Eminence makes example conspicuous.

(2) Wealth brings influence.

(3) Employers have large opportunity for good.

2. Besides the control given by external circumstances, we may notice the influence of personal qualities. Not what the man has, but what the man is, makes him a leader. Jeroboam is an instance in point. Beginning life as a common labourer, he died king of Israel. How continually have gifted, accomplished, and learned men brought saving help to the Church of God throughout her history. There is a subtle, mighty influence which should always be consecrated to holy uses — popularity, power to win the favour of others. Disciplined character has a peculiar mastery over others for good. Its control is quieter and deeper than any we have marked; it is the atmosphere of a soul refined to its highest uses. "All high beauty has a moral element in it. Gross and obscure natures, however decorated, seem impure shambles; but character gives splendour to youth, and awe to wrinkled skin and grey hairs." God has been at great pains to fit souls for this service.

(Monday Club Sermon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years.

WEB: So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years.

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