When good leaders do bad things.
Much can be learned from the life of King Asa.
Asa was considered to be a good king, one that did good and right. He sought the Lord. He called on the Lord for help. He listened to counsel. He was encouraged to be strong, not to give up and to always be courageous. His heart was fully committed to the Lord. But even good leaders can make bad choices.
Asa had learned to lean on God, to seek him fully and rely on him alone. Nonetheless, even the best leaders can slip up, stumble and suffer from poor judgement.
Somewhere along the way, Asa started to rely on God less and the abilities of himself and others more.
One of Asa’s advisers, Hanani, brought concerning matters to Asa’s attention. He reminded Asa that the Lord looks throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to the Lord.
Regrettably, Hanani had to make Asa aware that he had done a foolish thing by being too self-reliant and not involving the Lord in his decisions. What a tough reality. Doing so robbed Asa of ongoing peace. His bad decision had consequences that had a lasting affect.
What a brutal reality! An entire life of honor, commitment and integrity diminished with one bad decision.
The revelation shook Asa. He was so enraged he took the news out on his adviser and threw him in prison. He didn’t shoot the messenger for the message but he came close!
From that day forward Asa failed to seek the Lord’s help. It is worth noting it wasn’t that the Lord wasn’t willing to help or even forgive the grievance. The issue was that Asa’s pride and resentment hindered his relationship with the Lord. Who moved? Asa, not God.
It is not hard to sympathize with Asa. He was a good guy. But even a great guy can let his guard down, get comfortable and become too self sufficient. Asa drifted from his source of direction, strength and success. He failed to keep the Lord at the forefront of his operating system.
What might we learn from the life of a great leader? Certainly reforms can be made, redirection can be put into place and success can be gained, but we must learn to never put too much faith in our own abilities and those of others. We must watch ourselves and surround ourselves with comrades who will point out our blind spots, shine the light on our shortcomings and encourage us to keep our sights on the Lord.
Matthew 6:33 ties in nicely with the passages in 2 Chronicles 14-16. It reminds us that first and foremost we must constantly seek the ways of the Lord. When we do, the less important things will remain less important and the most important things will remain important. To keep seeking and relying on God is the most important of all.