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Allow Me to Explain (36 of 439) – Asa’s Imperfect Love

September 23, 2011

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36. Was Asa perfect? 1Kings 15:14, 2 Chron 15:17 vs. 2 Chron 16:7, 10, 12

This one doesn’t hardly even bear explaining, buuut I’m gonna!

1 Kings 15:14
But the high places were not removed. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was loyal to the Lord all his days.

2 Chronicles 15:17
But the high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days.

2 Chronicles 16:7
And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.”

2 Chronicles 16:10
Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.

2 Chronicles 16:12
And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he tdid not seek the Lord, but the physicians.

You see what I mean. None of the above says Asa was perfect.

I get the implication, but the first two verses should squash it in themselves anyway. In 1 Kings 15 and 2 Chronicles 15, Asa is encouraged by a prophet, and destroys or removes all of the idols in Judah. He is turning the nation back to their God.

Both verses start with, “But …” Asa’s purging is not complete, and his error is dually noted. In the same verse, however, we’re told that his heart was loyal all his days. It can’t, therefore, be a contradiction to say that Asa both (1) made a mistake, and (2) had a heart loyal to God.

2 Chronicles 16 records more mistakes.

  • Verse 7 – Should have turned to God for help, but didn’t.
  • Verse 10 – Should have listend to the prophet, but didn’t.
  • Verse 12 – Should have turned to God for help, but didn’t.

Who hasn’t?

The beauty of the story, and the gospel of Jesus Christ that is foreshadows, is that the statements, “But [insert mistake here],” and, “[his] heart was loyal to God,” are not in contradiction.

Asa was a good king. He loved the Lord. He did a bold thing when he removed the idols from Judah as a young king. He wanted to do well, and his heart was loyal the God all the days of his life.

He made mistakes, but despite his mistakes and his stubbornness, scripture still records his boldness and his undying loyalty. And in that, the rest of us can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

That means that you can love God and mess up. You don’t forfeit your salvation, or your relationship with God, every time you mess up. You can have loyal heart, even if you sometimes do things you shouldn’t do. You can still call Him, “Father,” still show your face in church, still pray, still expect to hear from Him through His Word, still come before Him in worship.

He accepts your imperfect love. It’s not a contradiction. It’s grace.

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