Blessed and Cursed Kings

Blessed and Cursed Kings

“Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images.

He commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment. He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him. And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the LORD had given him rest.

Therefore he said to Judah, ‘Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.” – 2 Chronicles 14:2-7

King Rehoboam made foolish decisions which caused the division of the 12 tribes of Israel into 2 kingdoms (2 Chronicles 10). He also forsook God’s law and influenced all Israel to do the same (2 Chronicles 12:1) so the king of Egypt came up against them.

However when he and the leaders of Israel humbled themselves before God, He granted them some deliverance and did not destroy them completely (2 Chronicles 12:6-12). Despite God’s deliverance, King Rehoboam eventually did not seek God. As a result, there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days (2 Chronicles 12:14-15).

King Abijah also revered God in his heart. However, Jeroboam, Solomon’s servant, rebelled against King Abijah and made gold calves as gods. So God struck Jeroboam and he died. King Abijah and the children of Judah, on the other hand, prevailed because they relied on God (2 Chronicles 13).

King Asa also did what was right in the eyes of God. He removed all the idols in Judah and commanded the people to seek God and to observe the law and the commandment. Therefore, there was no war in those years. God gave him rest because he sought the Lord (2 Chronicles 14).

Later on in the story, however, Asa relied on a man (King Ben-Hadad) instead of God when the king of Israel came up against them. Hanani the seer told him, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9

King Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, reigned in his place. Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of the Lord and delighted in Him. He also removed the high places and wooden images in Judah. He also sent his leaders to teach people the Law of the LORD. So the Lord delivered him and the people from Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir.

“And the fear of the God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.” – 2 Chronicles 20:29-30

In the latter part of his reign, however, he allied with the wicked king of Israel, King Ahaziah. Therefore the Lord destroyed his works (2 Chronicles 20:37).

God shows us in these stories that God blesses obedience and curses disobedience. There is peace when we seek and follow God and there is chaos when we forsake and disobey Him. We read that God gave rest to the people when they sought the Lord and removed all their idols.

The stories also show how important it is to have a godly leader. Many people choose those who qualify according to the world’s standards even if they are spiritually corrupt. They may be morally good but are spiritually poor.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

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