“Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.”
II Chronicles 16:10
Asa had been an exemplary king of Judah. He took away the altars of strange gods and commanded the people to seek the Lord. Asa feared the Lord and publicly sought Him. But in the thirty-sixth year of his reign, fearing a pending assault from Israel’s army, he entered into a league with the king of Syria. When that happened, a seer by the name of Hanani came to Asa and rebuked him for relying on the king of Syria rather than depending on the Lord. Asa was guilty. Where in times past he had cried unto the Lord in similar situations, he now placed his confidence in the help of men. When the prophet rebuked the king, rather than humbly accepting his correction, King Asa “was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house.” The king, who had such a good testimony of depending on the Lord and seeking to please Him, became angry when confronted about his sin.
A number of lessons could be learned from this sad event. We should be cautioned that any of us can put our confidence in man in a time of great need, even though we have deliberately and consistently depended on the Lord in the past. None of us are exempt from relying on the arm of the flesh. God has a way, in His goodness, of exposing our confidence in the flesh that we might repent and return to trusting in the Lord for our help and deliverance.
Another thing can be seen in Asa that should strongly warn us. He responded in anger to the voice that sought to turn him from his own way to God’s way. The Bible says, “he was in a rage with him because of this thing.” Much can be learned about our spiritual condition by monitoring how we respond to correction. There is a part of us that does not enjoy being reproved. It is not uncommon for someone who is confronted with the error of his way to become defensive and make excuses for his transgression. Our pride does not want to admit when we are wrong, but reproofs of instruction are a part of life.
A wise man will listen to and receive correction, but the Bible refers to one who resists reproof as a fool. Asa could have received his correction, acknowledged his mistake, and repented. Had he done so, he would have been better for it. Unfortunately, he became angry and died in disgrace.