A Lesson from the Life of King Asa
Charles H. Spurgeon
2 Chronicles 16:9
Our text leads us to speak upon historical matters, and for this I shall by no means apologize, although I have sometimes heard very foolish professors speak slightingly of the historical part of Scripture. Remember that the historical books were almost the only Scripture possessed by the early saints; and from those they learned the mind of God. David sang the blessedness of the man who delighted in the law of the Lord, yet he had only the first five books and, perhaps, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, all books of history, in which to meditate day and night. The psalmist himself spoke most lovingly of these books, which were the only statutes and testimonies of the Lord to him, with, perhaps, the addition of the Book of Job. Other saints delighted in the histories of the word before the more spiritual books came in their way at all. If rightly viewed, the histories of the Old Testament are full of instruction. They supply us both with warnings and examples in the realm of practical morals; and hidden within their letter, like pearls in oyster shells, lie grand spiritual truths couched in allegory and metaphor. I may say of the least important of all the books what our Lord said of children, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones." To take away from Holy Writ involves a curse upon the daring deed-may we never incur the penalty! All Scripture is given by inspiration and is profitable; be it ours to gain the profit. Let us see whether we cannot get a lesson from the life of King Asa.
Who Asa Was and What He Had Done in His Better Days
We will commence by noticing who he was and what he had done in his better days, for this will help to understand more clearly the fault into which he fell. He was a man of whom it is said that his heart was perfect before God all his days. It is a great thing to have said of anyone; indeed, it is the greatest commendation which can be pronounced upon mortal man. When the heart, the intention, the master-affection is right, the man is reckoned a good man before the Lord, notwithstanding that there may be a thousand things which are not commendable-yes, and some things which are censurable in the man's outward career. Asa is noticeable in the early part of his life for the fact that he set up the worship of God and carried it out with great diligence, though his mother was an idolater and his father, Abijah, was little better. He had enjoyed no training as a youth that could lead him aright, but quite the contrary. Yet he was very decided, even in the first days of his reign, for the Lord his God and acted in all things with an earnest desire to glorify Jehovah and to lead his people away from all idols to the worship of the true God. Now, a life may begin well and yet may be clouded before its close; the verdure of earnestness may fade into the sere and yellow leaf of backsliding. We may have the grace of God in our earlies ...
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