I don’t think there’s anything that hurts my heart more than near-misses. Being so close and yet missing it, getting to the end and failing right at the finish line before you can cross over.
I’ve been on the books of Chronicles the last two weeks, I don’t know why God takes me back there this often but I know that each time I go back, I see something new, something different.
Asides the genealogy that we get to study in first chronicles, the end of it and second chronicles takes us through the first kings who ruled Israel and Judah. It details how they ruled, if they ruled with the fear of God and how their lives ended.
They overall had such a strong start. The man after Gods heart started this relay for them. They started with no competitors. God pledged allegiance to this entire generation on account of one mans yieldedness. It is so refreshing to read about the relationship David had with God in the last parts of His life. It’s a true love story between two people totally given to themselves.
We read on to Asa (5th King), who was the son of Abijah, Abijah was son of Rehoboam and Rehoboam was son of famous King Solomon who was the son of the unrivalled starter, King David.
When we read of the start of Asa’s life in 2 chronicles 14, you will be enthralled by the same fascination you get reading about King David. It actually starts by saying in verse 2 and then in verse 6 that “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.” 2 Chronicles 14:2, 6.
Asa was one of the few kings of Judah and Israel who enjoyed a restful tenure. No armies or kings were coming up against them too often because like the scripture says. “The Lord gave him rest”.
The Lord enabled him defeat the large army of Cush in chapter 15 and carry so much plunder.
It was hard for me to get to the following chapter, 16, and see Asa making a treaty with the king of Aram to help fight another opponent army who wasn’t even as strong as the initial Cush they had defeated by the help of God.
God was not too pleased with this and so He sent a prophet to make this known to Asa, and also let him know that because he had decided to rely on another King and not on his Lord, he was now going to be at war.
If there was any point I expected Asa to be most like David, it was here. Declare a fast, put on ashes, cry out to the Lord for mercy and repent, but we see Asa harden his heart against the reproof from the Lord, to the point of even jailing the prophet God had sent to deliver the message.
This happened in the 36th year of His reign guys.
Remember David ruled 40 years, Solomon too ruled 40 years, so if any king made this a mark for their reign, they would not be wrong. Asa lived well and upright and decided that it’s in his 36th year that He will harden his heart against the Lord who had given him rest the last 36 years.
I wish it ended there, but we read to verse 12 in chapter 16 that “In the 39th year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” 2 Chronicles 16:12
I could feel tears at the back of my eyes as I read this and my heart get cold, I took to my notes and I wrote this;
“Oh God, May my end be better than my beginning, May Your grace carry me all the way to the end of life on this side of eternity, May fervency and zeal for your kingdom increase with time and never dwindle, May Rubie always, always cry to You for help, because there’s no doing anything without You. Amen”
Asa died in his 41st year with that disease and no cry out to the Lord, whether for mercy, or for healing.
His heart had become that conceited and hardened.
I feared for myself, cause I couldn’t marry the man who started like David and the man I read about in the end and I remembered that the arm of flesh will always fail. We cannot even rely on our own selves to make it through this life relying on God.
It takes the Spirit of God to constantly inspire a man to be fully dependent and reliant on God all His life.
So I’m praying for myself and for you today, that it won’t be said or read of us that we started well and didn’t finish well, that our end will be greater than our beginnings, that we will always choose repentance over pride and finally, that our lives won’t be near misses.
We are among the anchors and We will finish well.