September 6, 2015 – September 12, 2015
“Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” II Chronicles 14:2.
Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 109–113.
“Although his [Asa’s] forces were fewer in number than the enemy, his faith in the One Whom he had made his trust did not weaken.” Conflict and Courage, 203.
1 ASA’S FAITH TESTED
- What does the Bible say about Asa, the grandson of Solomon? II Chronicles 14:2–5.
- How did Asa reveal his faith during the test when the Ethiopians invaded Judah? II Chronicles 14:9–11. How was his faith rewarded? II Chronicles 14:12.
Note: “[II Chronicles 14:9 quoted.] In this crisis Asa did not put his trust in the ‘fenced cities in Judah’ that he had built, with ‘walls, and towers, gates, and bars,’ nor in the ‘mighty men of valor’ in his carefully trained army (II Chronicles 14:6–8.) The king’s trust was in Jehovah of hosts, in whose name marvelous deliverances had been wrought in behalf of Israel of old. …
“The prayer of Asa is one that every Christian believer may fittingly offer. We fight in a warfare, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and against spiritual wickedness in high places. (See Ephesians 6:12.) In life’s conflict we must meet evil agencies that have arrayed themselves against the right. Our hope is not in man, but in the living God. With full assurance of faith we may expect that He will unite His omnipotence with the efforts of human instrumentalities, for the glory of His name. Clad with the armor of His righteousness, we may gain the victory over every foe.” Prophets and Kings, 110, 111.
2 THE ONLY WAY TO SUCCESS
- How did Azariah the prophet remind Asa of the source of his victory? II Chronicles 15:1, 2, 7.
- What did Asa do to meet the needs that were necessary to further the reformation already in progress? II Chronicles 15:8.
Note: “[II Chronicles 15:1, 2, 7 quoted.] Greatly encouraged by these words, Asa soon led out in a second reformation in Judah.” Ibid., 112.
- Comparing the days of Asa with our days, of what need should we be aware, and what should we heartily support? Isaiah 48:16–18.
Note: “In this age of the world, when Satan is seeking, through manifold agencies, to blind the eyes of men and women to the binding claims of the law of God, there is need of men who can cause many to ‘tremble at the commandment of our God’ (Ezra 10:3). There is need of true reformers, who will point transgressors to the great Lawgiver and teach them that ‘the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul’ (Psalm 19:7). There is need of men mighty in the Scriptures, men whose every word and act exalts the statutes of Jehovah, men who seek to strengthen faith. Teachers are needed, oh, so much, who will inspire hearts with reverence and love for the Scriptures.
“The widespread iniquity prevalent today may in a great degree be attributed to a failure to study and obey the Scriptures, for when the word of God is set aside, its power to restrain the evil passions of the natural heart is rejected. Men sow to the flesh and of the flesh reap corruption.
“With the setting aside of the Bible has come a turning away from God’s law. The doctrine that men are released from obedience to the divine precepts has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in like an overwhelming flood.” Prophets and Kings, 623, 624.
3 “THEY ENTERED INTO A COVENANT”
- What did the people promise, in light of their previous experiences in apostasy, by a solemn oath made at a special gathering? II Chronicles 15:12–15.
- In our efforts to win souls to Christ, how may the example which Asa set on this occasion be an encouragement to us today? II Chronicles 15:9.
Note: “Follow on to know the Lord. If you will do this, you will win souls to Christ. Not only will your own soul be saved; the power that converts your soul will enable you to set an example that will win others to Christ.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 9, 1914.
- How will honest outsiders be convinced of the saving power of the truth—by listening to us or by watching us? Matthew 5:16; I Timothy 4:12, 16.
Note: “He who deservedly bears the name of Christian, which signifies Christlike, will be filled with piety and purity, with love and reverence for God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent; and his spirit, his words, his actions, will all bear the impress of Heaven. Others will see that he has been with Jesus and learned of Him, His prayers will be simple and fervent, and will ascend to God on the wings of faith. Learning in the school of Christ, he will have a humble opinion of himself; and though he may be poor in this world’s goods, he may be rich in the graces of God’s Spirit, and may bless and enrich others by his spirit and influence, because Christ is in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. He will shed about him an atmosphere of hope and courage and strength, and will put to shame those who are worldly, selfish, formal professors, who have a name to live and are dead.” Sons and Daughters of God, 85.
“The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 980.
4 ASA’S MISTAKES
- After having entered into a solemn covenant with the Lord, how was Asa’s faith tested, and how did he fail? II Chronicles 16:7–9.
Note: “Asa’s long record of faithful service was marred by some mistakes, made at times when he failed to put his trust fully in God. When, on one occasion, the king of Israel entered the kingdom of Judah and seized Ramah, a fortified city only five miles from Jerusalem, Asa sought deliverance by forming an alliance with Benhadad, king of Syria.” Prophets and Kings, 113.
- When Asa’s failure to trust God in the time of need was rebuked by God’s prophet, how did he commit a second mistake? II Chronicles 16:10.
- Why does the Bible narrate both the victories and the failures, the positive and negative traits of the character of the men and women that have been connected with the work of God? Proverbs 15:13.
Note: “The pen of inspiration, true to its task, tells us of the sins that overcame Noah, Lot, Moses, Abraham, David, and Solomon, and that even Elijah’s strong spirit sank under temptation during his fearful trial. Jonah’s disobedience and Israel’s idolatry are faithfully recorded. Peter’s denial of Christ, the sharp contention of Paul and Barnabas, the failings and infirmities of the prophets and apostles, are all laid bare by the Holy Ghost, who lifts the veil from the human heart. There before us lie the lives of the believers, with all their faults and follies, which are intended as a lesson to all the generations following them. If they had been without foible they would have been more than human, and our sinful natures would despair of ever reaching such a point of excellence. But seeing where they struggled and fell, where they took heart again and conquered through the grace of God, we are encouraged, and led to press over the obstacles that degenerate nature places in our way.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 12.
5 THE DANGER OF DESPISING REPROOF
- What lesson can we learn from Asa’s second mistake? Proverbs 10:17; 15:10.
Note: “Instead of humbling himself before God because of his mistake, ‘Asa was wroth with the seer’ (II Chronicles 16:10, first part).” Prophets and Kings, 113.
“There will be men and women who despise reproof and whose feelings will ever rise up against it. It is not pleasant to be told of our wrongs. In almost every case where reproof is necessary, there will be some who entirely overlook the fact that the Spirit of the Lord has been grieved and His cause reproached. These will pity those who deserved reproof, because personal feelings have been hurt. All this unsanctified sympathy places the sympathizers where they are sharers in the guilt of the one reproved.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 359.
“Our Creator and our Commander, infinite in power, terrible in judgment, seeks by every means to bring men to see and repent of their sins. By the mouth of His servants He predicts the dangers of disobedience; He sounds the note of warning and faithfully reproves sin. His people are kept in prosperity only by His mercy, through the vigilant watchcare of chosen instrumentalities. He cannot uphold and guard a people who reject His counsel and despise His reproofs.” Prophets and Kings, 426.
“Let us thank the Lord for the warnings He has given to save us from our perverse ways.” Sons and Daughters of God, 260.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How did Asa reveal his faith in the Lord when the Ethiopian army attacked Judah?
2 After Asa had heard the message of the Lord, what further steps in the work of reform did he take?
3 Comparing the days of Asa with our days, of what need should we be aware, and what should we heartily support?
4 What is one thing that will convince honest souls of the saving power of the truth?
5 What lesson can we learn from Asa’s mistakes when his faith was again tested later?
© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.