I Kings 15, II Chronicles 16
From the Royal Physician's Records
The kingdom of Judah has continued to be ruled by a son of David on the throne. I don't mean a real son of David. This is the way we say a son or grandson or great grandson. It saves time and words to use this short way of speaking.
Years ago ten tribes of Israel broke away from us. They chose their own king to rule them. I guess I could see their reason for doing this, a tiny bit. At the time, Solomon's son Rehoboam did some mean things. But he was young and didn't know any better. As he grew older he became a much better king. Unfortunately the ten tribes had already left us.
Rehoboam's son, Abijah became king when his father died and Asa became king when his father, Abijah died.
Those of us living in Judah saw how Asa pleased the Lord when he first became king. As time went by he made some bad choices. When the prophet Hanani spoke with Asa about the bad choice Asa became angry. Life became pretty hard here in Judah after that conversation.
I think Asa knew he did wrong but couldn't admit it. He treated the people in our kingdom cruelly. We all tried to stay away from him as much as possible.
But one day he became ill. A disease attacked his feet. It was so bad he couldn't walk.
His officials called me in to examine his feet. I tried. I really did. I used every method I knew to ease his pain and to cure the disease.
I heard someone mention to him to ask for God's help. Asa, shook his head. I saw his squinty angry eyes and the determination in his heart not to ask for God's help.
His feet became worse, sending the disease deeper into his body. For two long years, we physicians worked to save his life, but failed.
Asa had prepared a tomb for himself ahead of time. It had been carved in the City of David. Despite his cruel behavior at the end, the people mourned for him. So many tears shed and weeping throughout Judah for a king who showed his dedication to God when he first reigned.
We placed Asa's body on a special stand and covered it with the best spices and various blended perfumes.
During the funeral a huge fire blazed in Asa's honor.
I wiped away tears myself, because even though Asa had some bad times where he didn't ask God for help, he had good times in the beginning when he did. He took away idols and helped us worship God.
Our relatives in the tribes living in Israel haven't had this. The kings of Israel have led their people away from God and toward idol worship.
God, please help us to remember you. Help our new king to ask you for help.
photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
1. Asa knew he did wrong but _____________
2. One day Asa had a disease affect his ____________
3. Asa chose to call for _____________ to help.
4. Could the physician's help Asa?
5. What did someone ask Asa to do?
6. Did Asa follow the instructions?
7. How did the people respond when Asa died?
author's note...have you noticed that for many of the kings, the Bible simply tells us a new king was crowned. We don't hear about the honor given to them at a funeral. But we did for Asa.