2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.
7 “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.
Good king, bad kings, sort of like good cops and bad cops. Asa was a good king, among a whole slew of bad kings. Good kings were obedient to God. They rid the country of idol worship – the foreign altars, sacred stones and Asherah poles. They commanded the people to seek God again. And in return, God allowed the country to be at peace.
Certainly, like kings, back then there were good people and bad people – those who sought the Lord and those who strayed from God to worship at pagan altars. But according to the faithfulness of the king is how the country went in the eyes of the Lord. I guess that’s not so far different from today. Our country’s leaders influence how the nation goes, whether we sacrifice or not for the greater good, whether we endeavor to serve those in need, support our troops, police and community safety forces. People during WWII made sacrifices I can’t imagine we would ever make again, but the leaders of our country led the way.
When we seek the Lord, when we strive to be obedient to God’s will, God will give us rest, peace within our hearts. No matter the circumstances before us, when God is with us, we will have all the resources we need to be strong.
What joy, Lord, when we trust in you! We receive blessings beyond measure when we seek you and allow you to guide us in right paths. Help us be your witness in all we do today. We pray in the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.