S200P6 – Signs of a king: allegiance clearly shown

1 Kgs. 15:9-13

In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah, and he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done. He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron.

There are certain things we can say all people have in common.  No matter who you are, no matter the environment in which you are raised, you will have to learn to navigate personal relationships.  For many, the most personal of these relationships is that of family, and every family has expectations of its members.  Those expectations are not always the same, but they exist.  A common expectation is that a son or daughter would follow in mom’s or dad’s footsteps, or at a minimum have a clear allegiance to those parents.  A problem arises when the allegiance expected is one that the parent has no right or business to request.

Being a king, Asa undoubtedly was subject to certain expectations of that royal family.  For him, the issue was that some in his family tree had practiced great wickedness.  To follow them would have meant to defy and disobey God.  In order for him to be faithful, Asa had to end some of the practices of his fathers, which would have been open and obvious for all Judah to see.  He also had to remove his living mother from a position of power and prestige because of her wickedness.  Then, he destroyed the idol she had raised.  Asa recognized that he was not the people’s king but God’s king.  His allegiance had to be to God’s precepts and not to Judah’s or even his family’s evil customs.

There is nothing new under the sun.  Asa was not the first and would not be the last person in a position of power who would have to choose between God and many other influences.  Imagine having to deal with your own mother or father the way Asa had to deal with his mother.  Imagine the pressure to maintain tradition and meet expectations before the eyes of so many.  The hope is that we would have the same kind of faithfulness to show our allegiance to God above all regardless of the pressures we face to give our allegiance to another.  Father, help us to remain focused on honoring and obeying You when we are faced with the influence or expectation to follow the ways of another.