I always get confused when I read the parallel record of the Kings of Judah and Israel as to which nation I am reading about as one king’s reign is referenced against that of the other nation.
Most often though both seem “to do evil in the eyes of the Lord” or “commit the sins of their father”. However when I read of a good King I want to cheer them on and so it is with Asa.
Before Asa though King Rehoboam’s son Abijah was king of Judah for 3 years.He was not fully devoted to the Lord which sounds sort of half OK, but understand that he still was serving the nature deities of the Canaanites, the result being he committed all the sins of his father.
I can’t help but think that a divided heart only produces sin.
Now cheer for King Asa who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” and “was committed to the Lord all his life”and so is likened to King David,his ancestor – it is always good to get Gods approval in this fashion. He is king for 41 years. Asa is a reformer. he seeks the Lord and wants to right the wrongs of the previous kings. He removes the shrine prostitutes and idols and asherah poles, all parts of a pagan fertility based religion.You can read more detail of his reign in 2Chronicles 14 – 16. He is successful militarily, there is peace and he conducts several large building projects.
I love reading of Gods blessing upon him in all that he does. However, he does show a lack of trust when he engages in a foreign alliance paid for with Gods silver and Gold! to make war against Israel. The prophet Hanni speaks against him in 2 Chronicles 16:7-10.
Also here is a reprimand that he did not seek the Lord for healing for his diseased feet he was afflicted with late in his life.
Meanwhile back in Israel, Nadab becomes king for 2 years “doing evil in the eyes of the Lord”. He is killed by Baasha who becomes the next king……and yes he “did evil in the eyes of the Lord”
To me this reading is a pretty confusing allegory so I’ll rely heavily on NIV text notes! Jesus’ hearers were pretty confused too as they were divided in their opinion of Him.
We need to understand that the term “shepherd” is the royal caretaker of gods people (think Psalm23). In the first 5 verses the sheep pen contains several flocks of sheep. shepherd leads a particular flock and the sheep recognise their shepherd by his voice. It’s interesting to note that he leads them, doesn’t drive them as we may be used to agriculturally.
Jesus then goes on to say he is the gate that all the sheep (us)must pass through to be saved…..and be led to good pasture! All others before Him were false shepherds.
Jesus is the good shepherd who protects his sheep from those who would steal or kill the sheep to the point of giving up his own life if necessary. he is that committed to them.
I love the “I AM the good shepherd” proclamation Jesus uses twice about himself. I wonder if some of his hearers understood the import of this.
Verse 16 alludes to sheep (followers) not of this sheep pen-Gentiles
It concludes with a powerful image of the church – one flock under one shepherd.
Listen to His voice today.