READING: 1 Kings 14-16, John 6:38-71
It must have been a hard task. King Asa, the first king in the line of kings listed in today’s reading who “did what was right in the Lord’s sight, as his ancestor David had done” (1 Kgs 15:11), stood up against the evil in Judah. He did not tear down all the high places, but he did banish the religious prostitutes, remove the idols, remove Maacah from being queen mother because of her own idolatrous image, and returned consecrated items to the temple. Indeed, the single sentence summary of his life is quite positive: “Asa was wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his entire life” (1 Kgs 15:11).
We don’t have all the details here, but it surely was not easy to redeem a culture that had “imitated all the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites” (1 Kgs 14:24). It never is easy to be righteous among the evil, a light in the darkness, a single voice against a chorus of sin. It’s surely lonely, and it must be tempting at times to succumb to discouragement and just give up. Second Chronicles tells us that Asa’s rule itself ended in physical and spiritual decline in his own life, but he nevertheless reigned over Judah for 41 while numerous evil kings ruled over Israel.
Our task today is to stand for God’s truth no matter how much the culture around us rejects Him.
PRAYER: “God, help me to stand faithfully even if I stand alone.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch-up day