ASA

Judah was badly corrupted by Canaanite religions when Asa came to the throne (910 BC). He spent the early part of his reign trying to rid Judah of false religion, while at the same time he strengthened the nation’s defences (2 Chron 14:1-8). Strong faith and a strong army enabled Asa to defeat an enemy invader and won him encouraging words from God’s prophet (2 Chron 14:9-15; 15:1-7). His religious reforms included the removal of the queen mother (one of the chief supporters of the Canaanite religions), the destruction of idols, and the banning of religious prostitutes (1 Kings 15:9-15; 2 Chron 15:8-15). When Baasha, king of Israel, seized a border town and built a fort just north of Jerusalem, Asa paid money to Syria to break its treaty with Israel and attack her. When Israel turned to fight the attacking Syrians, Asa destroyed the offending fort and used the materials to build additional forts for himself (1 Kings 15:16-22). This policy of trusting in foreign nations showed a weakness in Asa’s faith and brought him into conflict with God’s prophet (2 Chron 16:7-10). Asa had another serious failure of faith late in his reign when, suffering from a disease in the feet, he looked for healing through pagan sorcerers instead of trusting in God (2 Chron 16:12-14).

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