14:1-16:14 – Keep on going! Don’t give up! Asa began so well – ‘Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God’ (14:2). He led the people to the Lord. Under his leadership, the people ‘entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and all their soul’ (15:12). Everything seemed to be going so well – until Asa let things slide. He acted ‘foolishly’. He ‘relied on the king of Syria’. He ‘did not rely on the Lord his God’ (16:7-9). There were difficult times ahead for Asa. He became seriously ill. Sadly, he did not return to the Lord – ‘even in his disease he did not seek the Lord’ (16:12). ‘No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God’. ‘He who endures to the end will be saved’. ‘Let us go on…’ (Luke 9:62; Mark 13:13; Hebrews 6:1).
17:1-18:34 – In 17:3, we read of backsliding – in David, Asa and Jehoshaphat. ‘Jehoshaphat walked in the first ways of his father David’(Authorized Version). David, Jehoshaphat’s ancestor, started off so well – ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power’. Things fell apart for him when he set his eyes upon Bathsheba (1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 11:2-5). ‘Jehoshaphat walked in the earlier ways of his father’(Revised Standard Version). Asa, Jehoshaphat’s father, began well. He did not finish well (14:2; 16:12). ‘In his early years Jehoshaphat walked in the (good) ways that his father David had followed’ (New International Version). Sadly, he lost his way – ‘he made a marriage alliance with Ahab’, ‘a man… who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord’ (18:1; 1 Kings 21:25). It can happen to anyone! We must be careful!