Asa’s Last Years
Verse 1 – It was the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign. Baasha, had replaced Jeroboam’s son, Nadab, and was king of the northern kingdom, Israel. Baasha, decided to reinforce the town of Ramah, which would block access to Jerusalem. He had made an alliance with Ben-hadad, King of Aram in Damascus. Once Asa was cut off from the outside world, it would be easy to capture Jerusalem.
Verses 2-6 – When Asa realized what Baasha was trying to do, Asa emptied the treasures of the temple and bribed Ben-hadad. Asa did not inquire of the Lord. Ben-hadad not only complied willingly, but sent his soldiers into Israel to compensate themselves for the booty they missed by not attacking Jerusalem.
Verses 7-10 – Asa made a serious misjudgment in thinking the Lord would be pleased if he did God’s work for him. Rather than getting praise for being so clever, God sent Hanani, His prophet to rebuke Asa. God wanted Asa to be dependent on Him, not his own cleverness or help from pagans. Asa’s ego was bruised. Instead of repenting, he threw the prophet in prison and started abusing his own people. Why is it when people are corrected by God, they get angry and take it out on the messenger and those around them? It is not a sin to use human means to solve our problems, but it is a sin to trust them more than God, thinking we know better.
Verses 11, 12 – In these verses, we see that when a disease came in Asa’s feet, he sought a physician, again instead of asking God for help. He was still rebellious. He totally ignored God. The medicine practice at this time was a mixture of superstition and folk remedies. His sin was not turning to a physician for help, but in failing to ask God how he should proceed and relying on God for the outcome.