THE RISE AND FALL OF KING ASA

(A Case of Spiritual Regression)

2 Chron. 14:4, 7 cf. 16:12

This is a sad account of how a good king went from seeking the help of the Lord (14:7) to relying on the help of man (16:12). Galatians 3:3 says, "Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
He went from triumph to tragedy--trust to trepidation. Why would a man to go from the success of trusting God to the defeat of relying on human strength? 
I. The rest of RELIANCE (14:9-12). What does it mean to rely upon God?
Trusting God's WISDOM TO CHOOSE THE BEST THING.
Trusting God's STRENGTH TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE THING.
Trusting God's RICHES TO PROVIDE THE NEEDED THING.
Trusting God's RIGHTEOUSNESS TO DO THE JUST THING.
Trusting God's GRACE TO BE SUFFICIENT IN ALL THINGS.
      A. Asa learned to trust God from the example of his father (cf. 13:3, 14, 18).
      B. God wants to give us victory, but we must rely upon Him so He gets the glory (14:8-12).
      C. God warns Asa about becoming SELF-CONFIDENT (15:1-4, 7). There is a great danger after God gives us victory, to quit relying upon God. God's warning to Israel (Dt. 8:11-14, 17-18).
II. The rejoicing of REVIVAL (15:8-19). The results of relying upon God:
      A. Conviction (15:8). 
      B. Correction (15:8, 16). Some changed had to be made:
          1. Rejection of false religion (v. 8)
          2. Reordering of priorities-- No more idols.
          3. Renewal of Biblical religion.
          4. Removal of ungodly politicians (15:16).
          5. Repudiation of immoral practices (cf. 1 Kings 15:11-12).
      C. Consensus (15:9). People are influenced by a man who walks with God. People want leadership that relies upon God.
      D. Covenant / Commitment (15:12-13).
      E. Celebration (15:14-15).
      F. Calmness (15:15).
Once my hands were always trying;
Trying hard to do my best;
Now my heart is sweetly trusting
And my soul is all at rest.
Once my mind was always planning,
And my heart, with cares oppressed;
Now I trust the Lord to lead me,
For my Lord knows what's best!
Once my life was full of effort,
Now 'tis full of joy and zest;
Since I took His yoke upon me,
Jesus gives me perfect rest!
[NOTE--Verse 19: The peace lasted 35 years. What happened in the 36th year? See 16:1-6. Asa becomes self-willed and self-reliant.]
III. The rebuke of REGRESSION (16:1-9). 
        A. Asa's regression-- God wants us to trust Him in the small details as well as the large. A civil skirmish existed between Israel and Judah [Baasha vs. Asa, probably an outgrowth of the situation of 15:9 cf. 16:1-6]. Asa felt because the situation was not such a formidable problem, he could handle it WITHOUT GOD-- God was ignored! No prayer is made.
            1. Asa relied upon his own skill in politics (16:2-3). Proverbs 3:5-- "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
            2. Asa relied upon "protection money" (16:2) Psalm 52:7-- "Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches..." 
            3. Asa relied upon fleshly strength (16:4-6 cf. Ps. 20:7; Isa. 30:1-3; 31:1-3; Jer. 17:5-7).
      B. Asa is rebuked (16:7-9).
            1. Call to rememberance (16:7-8).
            2. God is looking for us to give Him the opportunity to act on our behalf (16:9 cf. 14:12). What Asa was saying, in effect, was, "God, I don't need Your help."
            3. Laodicean Church was rebuked for it's self-sufficiency (Rev. 3:17-20).
IV. The reaction of RAGE (16:10-14). Results of not relying upon God:
      A. Conflict (16:9). God says, "If you think you can handle it on your own, go ahead!"
      B. Emotional unrest (16:10).
      C. Taking out our frustrations on others (16:10).
      D. Pride will keep a man from receiving a rebuke (16:12 cf. 9:19-21).

CONCLUSION: Why would a man to go from the success of trusting God to the defeat of relying on human strength? ANSWER: PRIDE.
WHAT ARE YOU RELYING ON? For salvation? / service? How much of our labor goes unblessed because we are doing it in our strength, ability and wisdom?