Chapter 15: 3, 4 (Full Bible Text); Matthew Henry Commentary
15:3-4 "Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching
priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel,
and sought him, he was found of them."
This text focuses on how a godly King, Asa of Judah, was able to reverse the misfortunes of his
kingdom by returning to worship and praise of God.
Asa, whose name means physician, was the third king of Judah. Historically he is noted for
rooting out idolatry out of his land and returning it to God.
Asa reigned, following the infamous reigns of his grandfather, Rehoboam and his father Abijah.
Rehoboam inherited a beautiful kingdom from his father Solomon. It was united and in peace. It
was known throughout the world for its splendor. Solomon's palace, which took 13 years to
build, was a great spectacle. It included a magnificent judgment hall, porch of pillars and throne
room. He constructed great water works to secure the city's water supply, along with many
fortifications. The great temple in Jerusalem was filled with so much gold, fine wood and
precious stones that it was considered an architectural wonder. Commercial trade flourished and
trade agreements were made with Egypt, Africa and with Spain. Intellectual pursuits flourish
under Solomon, who himself wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1005 songs. He promoted artistic
development and culture. These were small examples of the great works under Solomon. The
nation succeeded so well that the queen of Sheba traveled many miles just to witness its
splendor. Under Solomon. Under King David and King Solomon, the nation appeared to enjoy
back to back winning seasons.
2 Chronicles begins to tell the story of a long season when the nation lost the prosperity it
enjoyed under Solomon. Chapters 10,11 and 12 detail what can best be described as the
beginning of what would be a "long season" of decline for the nation. After the death of
Solomon the kingdom split under King Rehoboam. Now, instead of one nation, they were
divided. Instead of a reign of peace, they were at war. Instead of commercial prosperity, they
were scrapping to get by, cultural and commercial pursuits diminished.
Chapter 13 details the three year reign of King Abijah, who was wicked like his father. Worship
of God declined. Study of the scripture almost vanished and idol worship flourished.
Chapter 14 finds the new King Asa desperately trying to turn things around. He took down the
foreign altars (14:3) and commanded the people to obey the laws of God.
Chapter 15 finds God speaking to the prophet Azaraiah and sending a message to King Asa,
with a way to recover from Judah's long season of frustration, setback, war and division The
solution seemed simple "Seek God and you will find him. Forsake him and he will forsake you."
The prophet's message was clear. If Judah was willing to return to God, he would resume his
blessings, if they chose to continue living apart from him then their long season would continue.
Verse 15:4 notes that the people, in their distress, did turn to God and they sought after him.
When they sought him he was found. Asa, led them to a renewed faith and worship of God. Even
his mother, the queen, was removed from office because of her support of idol worship. (15:16).
The swift and grand changes that King Asa made helped Judah recover from a long losing
season. While his record never equaled that of Solomon, his was the king of Judah for 41 years
and enjoyed peace and prosperity. The method he used to reverse the fortunes of the people was
to return to Godly ways and practices, seeking God first and trusting him for the rest. That was
the plan to recover from a losing season...and it worked.
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Chapter 16: 12, 13; (Full Bible Text); Matthew Henry Commentary
16:12-13 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his
disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.
This text considers King Asa, a good king who let his faith in God wither along with the
prosperity of his kingdom and his own health.
Asa was the King of Judah. He ruled for 40 years and for the most part is remembered as a good
king who tried to obey God. Generally, Asa was described as a man who wanted to do what was
right in the sight of God. When he became king he worked to destroy the people's dependence
upon the idol gods. He destroyed idols and even removed his mother, the queen, from a position
of prominence, when she erected idols. He felt obligated to depend upon God only for his
When his country was at peace he increased his faith in God. His great faith was tested when his
country was invaded by the African nation of Ethiopia. Asa called upon the Lord in 2 Chronicles
14:11 "And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help,
whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on
thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man
prevail against thee." When he called upon God, he was given the victory by great margins.
God wanted him to know that his victory wasn't a mistake or a feat of his own military genius. A
prophet was sent to king Asa with these words in 2 Chronicles 15:2 "And he went out to meet
Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you,
while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will
Asa remembered that advice, and for many years he put his trust only in God. However, a period
came in his life when he doubted that God could do him any good, and his trust faltered. King
Baasha of Israel made a move against his country. Asa had spent much time rebuilding the
spiritual life of the kingdom that he had neglected his army. He had very little confidence that
his army could stop those of King Bassha. Rather than trust in God as he had in the past he chose
to buy the support of a foreign army which successfully helped him fight off his enemy.
God sent the prophet Hanani to tell the king he had demonstrated a lack of faith in God. If God
had helped him fight off overpowering enemies before, he could have helped him again. King
Asa became angry and threw the prophet in prison. He then took out his anger on the people and
brought hardships on them.
In the midst of it all he developed a disease in his feet that brought down his health in the last
two years of his life. The scripture does not tell the name of the disease, but the most common
foot disease of the time, that was life threatening, was "gout." Gout was incurable at the time.
There were no known medicines or treatment for the condition that were known to man.
However, God knew what to do, but Asa, refused to go to God, but to the physicians of his time,
who were totally inadequate. His sin was not that he consulted doctors and physicians that was a
logical recourse. His sin was that he trusted them for the cure rather than ask God to use them as
the instruments for the cure. He would not ask God for help. He contracted his foot disease in
the 39th year of his reign. He died in the 41st year, having had sick feet treated by the wrong
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