Wicked reign of Abijam, king of Judah. (1-8) Good reign of
Asa, king of Judah. (9-24) The evil reigns of Nadab and Baasha
in Israel. (25-34)
Abijam's heart was not perfect with the Lord his God; he
wanted sincerity; he began well, but he fell off, and walked in
all the sins of his father, following his bad example, though he
had seen the bad consequences of it. David's family was
continued as a lamp in Jerusalem, to maintain the true worship
of God there, when the light of Divine truth was extinguished in
all other places. The Lord has still taken care of his cause,
while those who ought to have been serviceable thereto have
lived and perished in their sins. The Son of David will still
continue a light to his church, to establish it in truth and
righteousness to the end of time. There are two kinds of
fulfilling the law, one legal, the other by the gospel. Legal
is, when men do all things required in the law, and that by
themselves. None ever thus fulfilled the law but Christ, and
Adam before his fall. The gospel manner of fulfilling the law
is, to believe in Christ who fulfilled the law for us, and to
endeavour in the whole man to obey God in all his precepts. And
this is accepted of God, as to all those that are in Christ.
Thus David and others are said to fulfil the law.
Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. That is
right indeed which is so in God's eyes. Asa's times were times
of reformation. He removed that which was evil; there
reformation begins, and a great deal he found to do. When Asa
found idolatry in the court, he rooted it out thence.
Reformation must begin at home. Asa honours and respects his
mother; he loves her well, but he loves God better. Those that
have power are happy when thus they have hearts to use it well.
We must not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well; not
only cast away the idols of our iniquity, but dedicate ourselves
and our all to God's honour and glory. Asa was cordially devoted
to the service of God, his sins not arising from presumption.
But his league with Benhadad arose from unbelief. Even true
believers find it hard, in times of urgent danger, to trust in
the Lord with all their heart. Unbelief makes way for carnal
policy, and thus for one sin after another. Unbelief has often
led Christians to call in the help of the Lord's enemies in
their contests with their brethren; and some who once shone
brightly, have thus been covered with a dark cloud towards the
end of their days.
During the single reign of Asa in Judah, the government
of Israel was in six or seven different hands. Observe the ruin
of the family of Jeroboam; no word of God shall fall to the
ground. Divine threatenings are not designed merely to terrify.
Ungodly men execute the just judgments of God upon each other.
But in the midst of dreadful sins and this apparent confusion,
the Lord carries on his own plan: when it is fully completed,
the glorious justice, wisdom, truth, and mercy therein
displayed, shall be admired and adored through all the ages of