2 Chronicles 16: Lessons From Asa’s Failures as King of Judah Regarding the Signs of a Backslidden Believer

Introduction: The chapter concludes the tragedy of Asa’s reign in Judah. He started off as a man of faith. He trusted God when a large army from Ethiopia invaded Judah. He again trusted God and removed idols that had existed in Judah since Solomon’s reign. Yet, he then became complacent and backslid in his walk with God. Faced with a military and economic blockade, he turned from God and formed an alliance with a pagan nation. He then slid further into sin by oppressing one of God’s prophets and God’s people. From Asa’s failures at the end of his reign, God reveals seven signs of a backslidden believer. These include: (1) fear, (2) worldliness, (3) rebellion, (4) misery, (5) a hardened heart, (6) unrepentance, and (7) revolting or odious sins.

First, Asa became filled with fear when King Baasha of Northern Israel cut Judah off with a military and economic blockade. From Asa’s mistake in failing to trust God as he had done in the past, God reveals that a backslidden believer will frequently become fearful when faced with evil instead of trusting Him. Second, Asa responded to the blockade by stealing all of God’s money in the Temple and bribing the Assyrians to invade Northern Israel. From Asa’s mistake, God reveals that a backslidden believer frequently turns to the world instead of Him to solve their problems. Third, Asa’s bribe to induce a pagan nation to try to occupy most of the Promised Land violated God’s instructions for the Jews to remove the pagan nations and their influences from the Promised Land. From Asa’s mistake, God reveals that backsliding frequently causes you to rebel against God’s Word. Fourth, because of Asa’s actions, God’s prophet warned that Judah would experience ongoing war. From Asa’s mistake, God reveals that backsliding in your walk frequently leads to a loss of peace and misery. Fifth, Asa imprisoned God’s prophet for his judgment and oppressed God’s people. From Asa’s actions, God reveals that backsliding frequently leads to a hardened heart. Sixth, God then allowed Asa to suffer a crippling disease. Yet, Asa would not repent. From Asa’s mistake, God reveals that backsliding frequently leads to an unrepentant heart. Finally, at his death, the Jews used spices and burned Asa’s body to cover his stench before burying him. From Asa’s putrid condition, God reveals that backsliding may cause your sins to become odious and repugnant to both God and others.

1. Fear: Backsliding in Your Walk May Cause You to Fear Evil Around You. 2 Chr. 16:1.

  • God exposes Asa’s fear by allowing Northern Israel to blockade Judah. God previously allowed Asa’s faith to be tested with a massive invading Ethiopian army consisting of a million soldiers and 300 war chariots (2 Chr. 14:9-13). Although Asa passed this test of faith, God allowed his faith to be tested a second time when He allowed King Baasha of Northern Israel to cut Judah off with a military and economic blockade: “1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah.” (2 Chr. 16:1). Because of the Jews’ refusal to obey God’s word, they cursed themselves with an ongoing civil war between the ten tribes of Northern Israel and the two tribes of Judah: “16 Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.” (1 Kgs. 15:16). The conflicts between the Jews began with the predecessor kings of both countries, King Jeroboam in Northern Israel and King Rehoboam in Judah (1 Kgs. 14:29-31; 1 Kgs. 15:6; 2 Chron. 13:1-3). In one battle between Jeroboam and Rehoboam’s son Abijah, at least 500,000 Jews from Israel died (2 Chron. 13:1-3, 17). After Baasha from the tribe of Issachar seized power in Northern Israel, he continued Israel’s conflicts with Judah throughout his entire reign (1 Kgs. 15:16). After failing to prevail on the battlefield, Baasha sought to blockade Judah by building up the city of Ramah in the divided territory of Benjamin, five miles north of Jerusalem. Because Egypt was hostile toward Judah, trade through the south had already been cut off. Baasha also sought to cut off an important highway that Solomon built up for trade through the north and east. He further sought to prevent observant Jews from reaching the Temple to properly worship God (1 Kgs. 15:17). Where Asa’s first test of faith involved a potential military defeat, his second test involved the potential for Judah’s economic collapse.

  • Asa became filled with fear and failed to trust Him. Asa was so afraid of Baasha that he built a special cistern to hide in in case Baasha conquered Jerusalem and tried to kill him: “Now as for the cistern . . . it was the one that King Asa had made on account of Baasha, king of Israel; . . .” (Jer. 41:9). Because of his fear, he could not believe that the God who had just delivered him would do so again. God’s deliverance had caused him to become complacent in his faith. He did not believe that God would intervene twice.

  • Taking your eyes off Jesus can also cause you to fear those around you. In many ways Asa was like Peter. Asa initially trusted God and served him with faith when he fought the Ethiopians and when he removed the idols from Judah. Peter also initially served Jesus with great zeal. He even had the faith to walk on water when Jesus called him (Matt. 14:29). With faith in Jesus, all things are possible: “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.” (Matt. 21:21). But when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he became filled with fear: “But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord save me.” (Matt. 14:30). After saving him, Jesus responded: “You of little faith, why did you doubt.” (Matt. 14:31). Paul reveals that it is the “spirit of slavery” which “lead[s] to fear.” (Ro. 8:15). “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6). The last time you felt fear, did you take your eyes off Jesus?

  • Trust in God’s promises to you. Asa became fearful because he failed to trust in God’s promise to protect him as God had done in the past. When you take your eyes off the Lord and become filled with doubt, you should return to the Word and have faith that it is true: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24). “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant . . . ;” (Dt. 7:9). “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9). He is faithful even when you are not: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). Have you given thanks for His faithfulness when your faith fails Him?

2. Worldliness: A Backslidden Believer Turns to the World Instead of God. 2 Chr. 16:2-3.

  • Out of fear of Baasha, Asa steals God’s money to bribe the Assyrians. Although Asa’s heart was initially devoted to God, he became filled with fear when Baasha succeeded in setting up a blockade. Instead of trusting God, Asa placed his trust in a pagan Assyrian king to save Judah by stealing the money in God’s Temple: “Then Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying, ‘Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.’” (2 Chr. 16:2-3). In the book of 1 Kings, the Bible clarifies that Asa did not just take some money from God’s treasuries, he took all of it: “18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold which were left in the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the treasuries of the king’s house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants . . .’” (1 Kgs. 15:18). He hoped to bribe the Assyrian king, Ben-hadad I. He wanted the Assyrians to break their treaty with Israel and invade it from the north (1 Kgs. 15:18).

Asa steals God’s money to bribe the Assyrians1

  • Trust in God and not in human leaders. Asa failed to heed God’s many warnings not to place his trust in human leaders for his deliverance: “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” (Ps. 146:3). “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.” (Ps. 118:9). “O give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain.” (Ps. 60:11). Asa’s actions might have seemed wise at the time. God’s desire that Asa place his trust in Him must have appeared foolish to him. “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18; 2:14). Yet, a wise leader places his or her trust in God and does not lean upon his or her own understanding: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5). Today, people regularly place their hope in their political leaders with each election. Yet, these people cannot save you. Have you placed your trust in God or in powerful people?

  • Looking toward worldly solutions is offensive to God. Asa’s worldly solution might have seemed like a brilliant move to his advisors. But God warns that worldly solutions to spiritual problems are offensive to Him: “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (Jam. 4:4). “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 Jo. 2:15) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Ro. 12:2). “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,” (1 Pet. 1:14). Are you turning to God in your times of need or worldly solutions to solve your problems?

  • Do not surrender to the instincts of your flesh or your own understanding. Asa never sought God’s guidance in prayer. Instead, he surrendered to his fleshly instincts by doing what seemed wise in his own eyes: “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12). “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (Prov. 12:15). It is, however, not enough to simply pray for God’s guidance, you must also make no provision for the flesh when your flesh tells you to do something different: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (Rom. 13:14). “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16). “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24). “[K]nowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;” (Rom. 6:6). Have you surrendered to your flesh or the ways of the world in any area?

  • God will rescue you when you call upon Him in your time of trouble. God wants you to call on Him to rescue you when you are in trouble: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (Ps. 50:15). “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.” (Ja. 5:13). “But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God;” (Job 5:8). “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” (Ps. 50:15). “Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens, whose mouth speaks deceit and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.” (Ps. 114:11). If you are trapped in fear, have you called upon Jesus?

3. Rebellion: Backsliding Causes You to Rebel Against God’s Word. 2 Chr. 16:4-6.

  • The Assyrians agree to form an alliance with Judah against Northern Israel. Because Satan’s goal is to have God’s people turn from Him, Satan influenced Ben-hadad to accept the bribe and invade Northern Israel. From a worldly point of view, Asa succeeded in having the blockade against Judah lifted: “So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard of it, he ceased fortifying Ramah and stopped his work. Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had been building, and with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah.” (2 Chr. 16:4-6). After Ben-hadad I accepted Asa’s bribe and invaded Northern Israel, he took lands north of the Sea of Galilee. This gave Assyria control of the trade routes to the Mediterranean coast and important farmlands (1 Kgs. 15:20). This in turn caused Baasha to end his fortification process and move his troops away from his southern border with Judah to defend his northern territories (1 Kgs. 15:20-21). The book of 1 Kings clarifies that Asa then conscripted every person, even those who opposed his actions, to remove the barricades that Baasha built up: “22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempt—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had built. And King Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.” (1 Kgs. 15:20-22). Ben-hadad was a pagan. His name meant “son of the son.” Asa failed to learn from Solomon’s mistake in forming an alliance with a Pharaoh in Egypt, who later betrayed the Jews. Asa did not turn to God for help or deliverance. Instead, he used the remaining monies in God’s Temple to encourage a pagan king to wage war and oppress God’s people. This short-term act succeeded in ending Baasha’s threat to Jerusalem (1 Kgs. 15:21-22). Yet, he then made the same error as Baasha by cutting off the people of Northern Israel from reaching the Temple by fortifying the cities of Geba and Mizpah, along the border in the divided territory of Benjamin (1 Kgs. 15:22). More importantly, his actions set in motion a conflict between the Assyrians and the Jews. This would cause misery for God’s people, leading to the exile of 10 tribes.

  • Inviting the Assyrians to occupy part of the Promised Land violated God’s law. Moses ordered the Jews to completely drive out every last vestige of pagan culture from the Promised Land: “and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.” (Dt. 7:2; 7:16). “Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes.” (Dt. 20:16). Forming a treaty to have a pagan nation occupy most of the Promised Land to save two tribes was clearly against God’s law. God made conditional promises of blessing to Moses that depended upon the Jews’ obedience (Dt. 28:1-14; Lev. 26:1-13). God also made a similar conditional promise to David (2 Sam. 7:12-16). God later repeated that He would impose discipline upon Solomon’s descendants if they disobeyed Him (1 Kgs. 9:6-9). Asa should have known that God would keep His Word.

  • Believers should have no part in lawless behavior. Paul later compared lawlessness to the exact opposite of the righteous behavior expected from all believers: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnerships have righteousness and lawlessness, . . ..” (2 Cor. 6:14). “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” (1 Jo. 3:4). “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;” (1 Jo. 1:6). Is there any rebellion or lawlessness in your walk with God?

4. Misery: Backsliding in Your Walk Leads to a Loss of Peace and Misery. 2 Chr. 16:7-9.

  • God’s prophet warns of ongoing wars and misery because of Asa’s actions. Because he lacked faith and stole God’s monies to bring war upon his fellow Jews, God sent the prophet Hanani to both judge Asa and give him an opportunity to repent: “At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, ‘Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”’ (2 Chr. 16:7-9). God rebuked Asa for failing to trust Him. God had just protected him from a superior invading army of one million Ethiopians (2 Chr. 14:9-13). Thus, Asa had no reason to fail to trust God. The prophet revealed that God was in fact looking for another opportunity to show His willingness to deliver His people (2 Chr. 16:9). The prophet Azariah previously promised Asa that God would reward him for his faith-led obedience: “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.” (2 Chr. 15:7). In response to these words of encouragement, Asa made bold reforms to remove idols from Judah that had existed since Solomon’s reign (2 Chr. 15:8-18). God was then faithful to keep His promise and reward Judah with an extended period of peace “And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.” (2 Chr. 15:19). Now, because of his foolish actions, the peace that Asa had enjoyed would come to an end. God was giving Asa an opportunity to repent and turn back to Him. But Asa refused.

Hanani gives Asa God’s judgment because of his lack of faith2

  • Asa’s actions resulted in misery and sorrow. When someone longs for worldly things, God may hand that person over to his or her desires (Rom. 1:28). Yet, the pleasure Satan offers for the adulterer does not last long (Heb. 11:25; Lk. 12:19-20). In reference to sinners, David said: “[God] gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Ps. 106:105). “. . . So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her will not go unpunished.” (Prov. 6:26-29). God also warns of “curses” for those who rebel against His Word (Lev. 26:14-37; Dt. 27:15-26; 28:15-68). For example, David’s health suffered as a result of his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah (Ps. 38:3, 18). Here, all of Judah suffered from Asa’s actions through ongoing conflict. When you rebel against God’s Word, you also will invite misery and sorrow in your life.

5. A Hardened Heart: Backsliding Leads to a Hardened Heart. 2 Chr. 16:10.

  • Asa imprisons God’s prophet and oppresses God’s people after being rebuked. Instead of repenting, Asa sadly responded to the prophet Hanani by imprisoning him and oppressing the Jews within Judah: “10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him for this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time.” (2 Chr. 16:10). Asa’s actions show how living a life in partial obedience ultimately leads to spiritual decline. At the time he purged Judah of idols and turned the nation back to God, few could have imagined that the same man would imprison God’s prophet and oppress God’s people. This shows the importance of being vigilant in your faith. For every spiritual mountain high, there is a valley that you will face on your journey. If your faith depends upon your circumstances, you will eventually wander away from God.

Asa imprisons God’s prophet3

  • Turning from God can also harden your heart. When you turn from God, you darken your heart by making it harder for the Holy Spirit to guide you: “being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;” (Eph. 4:18). “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Ro. 1:21). “They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend.” (Is. 44:18). “May their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see, and make their loins shake continually.” (Ps. 69:23; Ro. 11:10). “For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, the seers.” (Is. 29:10). If God has allowed hardship to enter your life, examine your life for any unconfessed sin.

6. Unrepentance: Backsliding Frequently Leads to an Unrepentant Heart. 2 Chr. 16:11-12.

  • God judges Asa, and Asa again refuses to repent. God’s first warning should have brought Asa to his knees in seeking forgiveness. Out of mercy and grace, God allowed Asa to live but in a crippled state to give him another opportunity to repent: “11 Now, the acts of Asa from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.” (2 Chr. 16:11-12; 1 Kgs. 15:23-24). Asa deserved to die for his actions. He stole God’s money to bribe the Assyrians into oppressing the 10 tribes of Northern Israel. He then misused his own power to imprison God’s prophet and oppress God’s people in Judah (2 Chron. 16:7-12). To show him the error of his ways, God allowed Asa to live crippled with either gout or a vascular disease in the hopes that he would repent and turn back to Him. But Asa lived out the remainder of his life with a hardened heart.

  • You reap what you sow. With his illness, Asa reaped the seeds of his rebellion against God. “According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it.” (Job 4:8). “You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors,” (Hos. 10:13). “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7-8). Are you sowing seeds of rebellion and misery in your walk?

  • Asa refused to turn back to God during his disability. God reveals that His goal was not to punish Asa. Instead, God wanted Asa to turn back to him. Yet, because his heart had grown hard, Asa could not see that he suffered from a spiritual disease. Thus, he turned to doctors instead of God for the cure: “12  . . . His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.” (2 Chr. 16:12). Sadly, the man who clearly saw the evil in his father, his grandfather and his great grandfather could not see it in himself. Thus, he refused to repent and turn back to God during his time of disability. Instead, he placed his trust in physicians to save him from his torment.

  • God can also use illnesses to cause you to repent. If a person lives in rebellion, God can allow that person to become sick to bring the person to repentance: “The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish.” (Dt. 28:22; Lev. 26:16). Illnesses can have many sources. Yet, if you are suffering from an illness, you should examine your heart for any sins and repent.

  • Repent of your sins and change your ways. Believers also cannot be expected to enjoy the fullness of Jesus’ blessings if they fail to repent of their sins and live as a new creation. In preparation for Jesus, John the Baptist called all sinners to repent. ‘“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 3:2). Jesus also began His ministry with a call to repentance: “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 4:17; Lk. 18:13.) If you say that you are without sin, the truth is not in you (1 Jo. 1:8). Yet, if you confess your sins, Jesus will forgive you: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). You can show that you have made real repentance by living as a new creation in Jesus: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17). If you have repented of your sins, are you living as Jesus’ example to others?

7. Revolting Sin: Backsliding May Cause Your Sins to Become Odious. 2 Chr. 16:13-14.

  • Even in death, Asa’s sins were odious to all around him. The stench of Asa’s sins were so odious from his diseased feet that his attendants tried to cover up the stench at his funeral with spices: “13 So Asa slept with his fathers, having died in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 They buried him in his own tomb which he had cut out for himself in the city of David, and they laid him in the resting place which he had filled with spices of various kinds blended by the perfumers’ art; and they made a very great fire for him.” (2 Chr. 16:13-14). Normally, a dead king was simply buried. It was unusual for them to burn the king’s body. They only did so because of Asa’s stench. This provides a picture for what sin looks like in God’s presence. It is an ugly and intolerable thing in His holy presence. To be in His presence, sin must be purged from our lives. Thankfully, Jesus provides a way to make this possible. But, even though Asa’s smell was odious in death, he still received God’s grace with an honorary funeral and the chance to be buried next to David.

  • Unrepentant sin is revolting to God. The fruit that comes from an unrepentant sinner’s life is evil and is visible for all to see: “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” (Matt. 7:17-19). For example, leprosy is a symbol of both sin and God’s punishment of sin (Nu. 12:10; 2 Ch. 26:19-21). Lepers had to be separated from society or the disease would spread (Lev. 13:4, 6). If their garments could not be cleaned, they also had to be burned (Lev. 13:52, 55, 57). A Jew typically looked upon a leper with revulsion. This provided an image for the Jews to understand how God felt when looking upon their unrepentant sin.

  • Don’t become complacent in your walk. Asa’s tragic downfall and his refusal to repent is a warning to all believers. Believers should never allow spiritual success to lead to complacency. The moment you let your guard down, Satan will try to pull you off your walk with God: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal. 6:9). “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” (2 Thess. 3:13). “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,” (2 Cor. 4:1). “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,” (Lk. 18:1). “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Heb. 12:3; Rev. 2:3). Have you grown complacent in your walk?

  • God also will not leave or forsake you because of your sins. At the end of his life, Moses encouraged his people by advising that (even when they sinned) God “will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6(b)). The writer of Hebrews later quoted Moses’ final words to encourage believers never to lose hope and turn to the unholy spirits of the world, like avarice, greed, and coveting: “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”’ (Heb. 13:5). If you have sinned against God, have faith that He will never leave nor forsake you. If God celebrated Asa, there is no reason why your sins will keep you from being celebrated in heaven if you accept Jesus Christ.

  • If you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, have faith that your sins are forgotten. If you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, all your sins will be forgiven (Mk. 2:10; Ps. 103:12; Is. 44:12). Even better than His forgiveness of your sins, He promises to forget your sins as well (Is. 43:25; Heb. 8:12). Yet, you must accept in faith Jesus’ promises to forgive and forget your sins (Heb. 11:6). Have you fully accepted in faith that your old sins were nailed to the cross and forgiven?