We are going to start with Asa, 3rd king of Judah after the split of Israel. Now, Asa was the first king of Judah that was right with The LORD, and his heart was perfect with the LORD all his days according to 1 Kings 15:14 – I would argue his “perfect” heart. I believe morally speaking he was always right. He removed his own mother from being queen for making an idol in a grove [1 ki 15:13], and made many other changes in Chronicles 14. The king of Israel during the reign of Asa was Baasha, which means ‘wicked’ [H1211]. And there was war between the two all their days. However Asa took all the gold and silver from the treasure of the house of the LORD and had them delivered to Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, in Damascus so that Syria would break the covenant they had with Israel, so that they would depart from Judah. Ben-hadad listened and smote a number of cities belonging to Israel which made Baasha stop attacking Judah once he heard the bad news. [1 ki 15:18-21]
Hanani the seer, possibly the father of Jehu who became king of Israel [1 ki 16:1], rebuked Asa for relying on the king of Syria instead of God. Asa was therefore wroth and sent Hanani in prison. This is the reason why I don’t think to highly of Asa. [2 Ch 16:7-11]
In Asa’s 39th year he had a severe disease in his feet, yet he sought physicians, not The LORD. He therefore died two years later. Silly Asa. During the early years of Asa’s reign, he was attacked by one million Ethiopians, Judah were strongly outnumbered. Asa sought the LORD and The Ethiopian army were defeated by the hand of God. I don’t blame Hanani calling Asa a fool for not doing the same thing with Israel. The same thing happened to king Uzziah (Azariah) the 10th king of Judah; he eventually turned away from The LORD, got leprosy and died.
Now let’s move onto Hezekiah king of Judah, (10th king after Asa, 195 years later). Hezekiah is regarded very highly; he trusted the LORD, clave unto the LORD and never departed. [2 ki 18:5-7] However, history repeats itself here. In the 14th year of Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came against the fenced cities of Judah and took them. Hezekiah says to king of Assyria “I have offended” and offers a bribe to regain the cities. Like Asa did, Hezekiah took all the silver and gold from the temple of the LORD and his house, and gave it to the king of Assyria. Remember when Asa did that [above]?
When Hezekiah was 39, prophet Isaiah tells the king, “thus saith the LORD, set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.” Then he prayed, wept and remembered the former relationship he had with God. God answers Hezekiah’s prayers by adding 15 years in his life. [2 Ki 20:1-6]
Unlike Asa, Hezekiah sought The LORD when he would surely die. I love how history nearly repeated itself to the letter! Yet God forgave Hezekiah for not turning to the LORD (thus being like a harlot.) This is a beautiful story… so far. The rest is hilarious!
At that time Berodach-baladan, son of Baladan king of Babylon sent letters and a present to Hezekiah as the king of Babylon heard that Hezekiah had been sick. Hezekiah decides to show them absolutely everything! He showed them all the precious thing, silver, gold, spices, precious ointment, all armour, all his treasures. There was nothing Hezekiah showed them not [2 ki 20:1-13].
Wow, what an absolutely STUPID thing to do! Isaiah then prophesied to Hezekiah that the Babylonians will captivate Judah at some point.
Babylon had every reason to invade Judah at that point, but God’s hand is over everything; it wasn’t His will for it to happen yet. Instead, God would judge Judah using the Babylonian empire 125 years later. Wow, indeed God is in control. AMAZING!
God is merciful to us today even when we don’t deserve it. Our whole life is saved thanks to The Cross – our wages have been paid in full by Jesus so we don’t have to pay a dime (which is still death). Even before The Cross, God was willing to give mercy to them that didn’t even have their wages paid off yet. Wouldn’t it be great if banks and building societies were this merciful if we struggle to pay what we borrowed and interest? But no, instead they insist in adding to our wages through fines after fines. (I personally think banks would prosper if they cancelled debts, that’s what the Jews have to do on Jubilee years and look how Israel have prospered!) But I guess in the Old Covenant times they were only able to tempt God so much without repenting before judgement did happen. But God was still incredibly patient with them, read my previous blog on the Kings and Jeremiah as I go in more details in this.
Today in The New Covenant, the next wrath of God is reserved for after the tribulation. It is said that earthquake and all sorts of natural disasters are judgements, but we must remember that we are dwelling in a fallen world based on a former wrath of God. I don’t believe natural disasters were a common thing before the flood (it makes sense if you look into what creationists think how the world changed as a result.) As for nations attacking nations and wars, they are caused by nations not seeking The LORD if you read the books of Kings and Chronicles. They are judgements to make us turn back to Him but nothing like what’s to come. We wouldn’t turn to God if life was like what the Garden of Eden was.
(Hmmm, I hope I haven’t merged God’s wrath and judgements together as I think there is a slight difference. Judgements, final judgement and wrath are different things but do tell me your views on this if you have different views.)
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