Asa, King of Judah

Asa was the third king of Judah (reigned 908-867 BC). He was the son and successor of Abijah. His mother was Maachah. Asa became King of Judah in the 20th year of the reign of Israel's King Jeroboam, and reigned 41 years.

Asa was a loyal adherent of the worship of God and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He instituted reforms to rid the land of heathen deities and practices. He banished the perverted persons from the land, and removed all the idols that his father had made. He also demoted Maachah from her position as Queen Mother because of her paganism.

There was a 10-year period of peace at the beginning of Asa's reign, during which he fortified cities on his frontiers and raised an army. He was attacked by troops from Ethiopia under the leadership of General Zerah. Asa cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord defeated the Ethiopians, and Asa and the army of Judah triumphed as the Ethiopians fled. Asa then cleared the land of Judah and Benjamin of all idols. Then the people entered into a contract to worship only the Lord God of their fathers.

King Baasha of Israel then declared war on Asa. Asa paid King Ben-hadad of Syria to help him defeat King Baasha. The Israelites were defeated, but God, through the prophet Hanani, let Asa know that he had made a mistake by going to Syria for help, instead of God. Asa died in the 41st year of his reign and was buried in Jerusalem. His son, Jehoshaphat, became king.

Asa's story is found in 1 Kings 15:8-24, and in 2 Chronicles, chapters 14-16.

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