Asa And Jehoshaphat -- By: Larry R. Thornton
CenQ 12:1 (Spring 1969) p. 31
Asa And Jehoshaphat
Second Of A Series:
A righteous king obeyed God’s standard, the law and the prophets. Of the eight good kings of Judah, four did not have lasting righteousness—Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, and Jotham. They departed from God’s standard during the latter years of their reign. However, four kings are characterized by lasting righteousness— Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah. These kings must be more extensively considered.
Asa did not have a single good influence from his immediate ancestors. His father and grandfather, Abijah and Rehoboam, practiced evil in the sight of the Lord. Maachah, his grandmother, corrupted the people during parts of three reigns with her pagan Canaanite worship. A host of powerful influences drew him toward laxity and idolatry; yet Asa was the first good king of Judah.
There have been several suggested reasons for Asa’s tendency toward God’s ways. Edersheim thinks that Asa took the throne as a boy of ten or eleven years old. This could account for his righteous approach, since during his minority he would chiefly be under the official guardianship of the high priest. Upon his ascension, Asa may have seen the political and economic chaos that had resulted from the idolatry of the past rulers. The king may have been reminded of the days of prosperity and peace in the time of David and Solomon when God’s standard was followed. Scripture gives no hint as to why Asa sought God’s way. However, Scripture does aid in understanding why Asa is characterized as a good king. After applying God’s standard to Asa’s actions, the reasons for and the results of Asa’s righteousness appear. The following will be considered: (1) Asa’s obedience to the Mosaic
CenQ 12:1 (Spring 1969) p. 32
Asa’s obedience to God’s standard.
law, (2) Asa’s obedience to the prophets, and (3) the results of
Asa’s Obedience To The Mosaic Law
“First things first” was Asa’s policy. The pagan practices and high places were removed from Judah (Ex. 20:3–4). At the beginning of his reign and after the victory over the Ethiopians, Asa destroyed and desecrated the pagan places of worship. From studying II Chronicles 14:3–5 and 15:17, one notices that Asa removed the high places from Judah, but not from Israel (II Ch. 15:17; I Kings 15:14). Asa removed his grandmother, Maachah, from being queen, and he destroyed her idols...
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