Do these verses classify Asa as a good or bad king? (2 Chronicles 16:7-12)
2 Chronicles 16:1 - 14
ESV - 1 In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king's house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
The passage cited in the question presents negative aspects of Asa's reign that are not discussed in the other primary account of his rule found in 1 Kings 15. And, even though 1 Kings 15:11-15 contains favorable comments about him, that chapter also recounts unwise actions that Asa took that were apparently made without God's involvement or consultation, but depended instead on treaties with other rulers. (In those respects, his reign was was later emulated by his son Jehoshaphat.) Overall, however, I would say that Asa's reign is regarded favorably, particularly in comparison with many of the other kings discussed in the histories of Judah and Israel.
Asa was a man who made a good beginning and lived a life of faith, but when it came to his final years, rebelled against the Lord. —Wiersbe Tim was right: Asa had a sad relapse—through the unequal yoke. 2 Chronicles 16:3 says, "There is a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me." The people made a very great bonfire in his honor, but in God’s sight, the last years of Asa went up in smoke (1 Cor. 3:13-15). —Wiersbe
II Chronicles 16:7-12 sounds like Asa was a bad king but his whole record must be examined. I Kings 15:11 gives God’s assessment of Asa’s reign. All the kings of Judah were “graded” by God, usually at the outset of their record. Of the nineteen kings, eleven were bad and eight were good. Of those that were good, half were mediocre kings, some on par with their immediate fathers, II Kings 14:1-3, II Chronicles 26:3-4, II Chronicles 27:1-2. Also, Joash only did right all the days of Jehoiada, II Chronicles 24:1-2. But four reached the standard of the great king David in their loyalty and love for God, I Kings 15:1-5, I Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22. These brightest stars were Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, (II Chronicles 17:3, 29:1-2, 34:1-2), and Asa. One characteristic of the exceptional kings was that they were tested by God in some area in their lives. Asa experienced peace for ten years of his reign, II Chronicles 14:5-7. Note the key words, “quiet” and “rest” Then he was tested by the enormous invading army of Zerah the Ethiopian, II Chronicles 14:9-15. He called on God and acknowledged that they were resting on the Lord and going against the enemy in His name, II Chronicles 14:11. Asa was victorious. God then sent Azariah to encourage Asa. He emphasized the lack of peace and great turmoil for much of the nation’s history, II Chronicles 15:1-6, and the need to be strong, II Chronicles 15:7. Asa committed himself and his people to enter into a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and with all their soul, II Chronicles 15:8-14, 16-18. The result was rejoicing and rest, II Chronicles 15:15, 19. Because Asa rested in and relied on the Lord, he was victorious. Then Asa was tested again when Baasha, the king of Israel, threatened peace by building a fort right on Judah’s border. Asa responded by calling on Ben-Hadad of Syria, bribing him with gold and silver from the treasuries, to drop Israel as an ally and make a treaty with him, II Chronicles 16:1-6. At this, the prophet Hanani rebuked Asa for foolishly relying on the king of Syria and not on the Lord his God. Asa lashed out at him and some of the people, II Chronicles 16:7-10. He failed this test by not looking to God but trusting on human wisdom and reasoning. Then on top of this, Asa later in his old age “became diseased in his feet,” but “he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians,” II Chronicles 16:12. After this he never again seemed to get right with God. He was a good king, even an exceptional one. His heart was loyal all his days, II Chronicles 15:17. But during his reign of 41 years there were times he failed to rely on God. Paul asked the Galatians, “You ran well – what hindered you from obeying the truth?” Galatians 5:7. That question could have been for Asa.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.