January 19, 2017
The nation of Israel was ruled by many kings. Some were good and some were bad, but all were measured by the standard set by King David. When David came to the end of his life his son Solomon became king. Solomon was known for his wisdom, but he failed in many ways. He married pagan wives and allowed them to continue their pagan ways. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king. Because Rehoboam had been raised around paganism he was not repulsed by it. During his reign the nation of Israel was split into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom was called Israel and the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah. The Southern Kingdom was the one ruled by descendants of King David. Rehoboam ruled over Judah, but didn’t honor God and led the people into abomination. Scripture tells us “And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.” 1 Kings 14:22-24. This describes full blown pagan practices which are inspired by Satan. This type of evil pagan worship still happens today. The sodomites were homosexual prostitutes. This also goes on today. If you’re a part of these practices then shame on you.
When Rehoboam died his son Abijam (also known as Abijah) became king. His reign was short and he wasn’t a honorable man. Scripture says “And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.” 1 Kings 15:3.Nobody is perfect but we all have a choice whether to follow evil or strive to live as God wants us to. Abijam chose to follow the evil ways of his father. He accepted and continued pagan worship and the government-sanctioned homosexual activity, both are abominable. Evil practices in Judah continued, but God didn’t bring judgment upon them because of His promise that David’s descendants would continue to reign and that the Messiah would come from his line. God has always been merciful. Even though God didn’t destroy the land of Judah as He had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the evil that infested those cities, that doesn’t mean He approved of the pagan worship and homosexual practices. He didn’t approve then and He doesn’t approve now.
When Abijam died his son Asa took the throne. Finally there was a king who wanted to do right in God’s eyes. “And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.” 1 Kings 15:11. It’s quite a compliment to be compared to King David. There had been pagan practices in the land for many years, but Asa began to clean house and lead the nation back into worshipping only God Almighty. “And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.” 1 Kings 15:12. Asa chose to serve God in spite of his family history. Every Christian should also remove sodomites and idols from their life. We can’t control how other people think or act, but we can choose how we live our own life. Your parents may not serve God or live morally, but that’s not an excuse for you to indulge in evil practices. Choose for yourself to do right in the sight of the Lord. Asa’s father and grandfather and great-grandfather condoned pagan ways, but Asa took away the sodomites, idols, and places of pagan worship which were, and still are, sinful things that turn people away from God Almighty. Asa did all he could to be a godly leader and he did what was right in the eyes of God.
Sometimes removing evil means turning from people we love. King Asa was determined to get rid of the practices that were abominable to God, which included removing his grandmother. “And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.” 1 Kings 15:13. Here she is called his mother, but other Scripture says she was married to Rehoboam who was his grandfather. Many times generational indicators are left off, as in saying “his father David” when in fact David lived a few generations before him. In any case, she practiced evil and Asa wouldn’t tolerate it. Even today friends, parents, or children may participate in activities that are abominable to God. We love them but their sinful lifestyles can’t be condoned. Jesus knew that each person would have to make their own choice to follow Him. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Luke 12:51-53. Jesus comes first. In many cultures if you become a Christian you will be disowned by your family. That’s a choice each person must make. In Asa’s case, his grandmother embraced pagan ways and made idols. She had to either change her ways or be removed. God abhors idol worship and He abhors the practice of homosexuality. If you have a friend or a family member who embraces these ungodly practices you may have to make a hard choice when you clean out the high places in your life. Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy to follow Him, but we must put Him first.
“And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: for he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: and commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers and to do the law and the commandment.” 2 Chronicles 14:2-4.What are these “high places”? They were places of worship. Sometimes they were for worshiping God Almighty, but more often than not they were for the worship of pagan gods. The context of a verse will tell you if it refers to satanic activity. In fact, Asa left the high places that weren’t pagan in nature. “But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.” 1 Kings 15:14. The verse in Chronicles says he took away the high places while the verse in Kings says they weren’t removed. The satanic ones were removed while those for the worship of God weren’t. When we accept Christ as our Saviour we need to clean out the satanic high places in our life and move away from the idols that we’ve worshiped. On the surface lifestyles seem to change, language is cleaned up, and we no longer visit certain websites that don’t honor God. We look squeaky clean to other people, but if the high places aren’t completely cleaned out they still have a grip on us. These are the corners of our heart and mind that we hope God doesn’t see. Clean out those high places that are satanic in nature.
A king, president, prime minister, or even a dictator can’t force a nation to turn their hearts to God, but a good leader should do all in his power to remove abominations from the land. The people of the United States of America have just elected a new president. Mr. Trump will soon take office from a man who has done everything possible to lead America down a path of destruction. Under Obama’s administration we have seen human sacrifice (abortion) increase, sodomy legalized (same sex marriage), pagan worship accepted (the Ten Commandments replaced by statues of the baphomet), and Israel made to look like a villain. Obama’s administration was one in a long line of administrations that have been against God. At long last Christians got fed up with the evil and corruption in our government and we cried out to God. He has given us a chance to return to Him and be a nation that blesses God, not Satan. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that Donald Trump is King Asa, but his intentions are in the right place. There are certain people in a rage against him, but look at who’s throwing the tantrums. Hollywood, the purveyor of sin and perversion, is furious. Many “stars” “(shall we call them idols) are proud of their sins and serve Satan. They are very outspoken against Mr. Trump. Don’t be duped. Hollywood is filled with sodomites and people who worship in the satanic high places, which they don’t want removed. These people need our prayers, but not our attention. Continue in prayer for America and for Mr. Trump. Turn from the evil that has gripped this nation for too long. In the words of another great leader “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15.
Satan has been busy corrupting the hearts of men for many years. His evil against humans began in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day. Every person has a choice between serving God or serving Satan. You can’t have it both ways. Jesus said “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24. Who do you serve? If you claim to be a Christian then you need to examine your heart. Does it need cleaning? Does Christ reign over your life or do you have some high places that need to be removed? They may be hidden from the eyes of man, but you cannot hide them from our Lord. He loves you and paid the price for your redemption. Don’t mock His sacrifice by harboring sin. Whatever the sin He will forgive you, but you need to go to Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.Confess your sin to Jesus and ask Him to clean out the high places that control you. You can’t serve two masters, so choose the only Master who gives eternal life. You won’t regret it.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. This is a spiritual battle that we fight every day. One day very soon the Rapture will take Christians to be with Jesus. On the other hand you may die before then. Either way you need to fight this battle, clean out the high places, and serve Jesus before it’s too late.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.