"Invasion by Baasha. [1 - 6]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 16:1 "In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah."
The house or nation of Israel had a problem, a major problem, for they had set a border between their nation and Judah, and closed off the flow of its citizens to go to Jerusalem. The house of the Lord [Solomon's temple] for all Israel and Judah alike was in Jerusalem. The problem was the people would go to Jerusalem, and not return back home, where they could be taxed and required for military service. King Baasha, king of Israel was going to solve that problem by building Ramah, to check the border and control the flow of the people from leaving.
For Asa, this meant that the people that flowed into his nation would come, make their offerings and sacrifices, and just not go back home in Israel. Sort of like the East Germans did in Berlin, and on the western borders. When its people left, there went part of the wealth of the nation. They built their walls, and for a generation those walls stayed in place stopping the outflow of the East Germans; then at the appropriate time, down came the walls. Piece by piece each part was dismantled until today not a trace is left dividing these two brethren.
As you read this chapter of king Asa and his brethren Baasha, both kings of the tribes of Jacob's sons, we see how history repeats itself, just as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:5-10; "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose."  "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.  On and on, the rivers flow into the sea, and the rain comes to cause the waters to flow right back into the sea, and life goes on. Then we read in verse nine; "The thing that hath been, is it that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." 
It seems that mankind just never learns, for when left to his own accord, the same mistakes are made over and over. There's nothing new under the sun. When we turn to our Lord for protection, then He takes care of our needs, feeds His lambs, comforts their souls, and protects their land. However when they turn their backs to Him, God will lift that protective hand, and mankind has to learn the same lessons over and over.
II Chronicles 16:2 "Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the Lord and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,"
When the trouble came, Asa went to the king's pocketbook, the gold of the nation and thought that he could buy his way out of trouble there in Damascus, from the help from an heathen king and that heathen nation.
II Chronicles 16:3 " "There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me."
This story of the events of this covenant is recorded in I Kings 15:18-21. Notice that here in Asa's later life, he has turned against his faithfulness that once in earlier times caused him to clean the land of Judah from idolatry, and the heathen forms of worship that dotted the land. Asa stopped relying on God, and he is here turning his hope to a heathen nation; Ben-hadad and the Syrians for his protection. However there just north of Jerusalem Baasha was building a barrier to prevent Israelites from going to Jerusalem to worship and offer their sacrifices.
II Chronicles 16:4 "And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali."
When Benhadad attacked the house of Israel, Asa and the house of Judah moved immediately to dismantle the fortress of Ramah piece by piece and took the stones to their own land. Sure Asa won the battle for Ramah, but the only battle that is important is the final battle, and that time of the final battle would not come in his lifetime.
I Kings 15:21 "And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah."
When king Baasha heard what was happening far to the north, he stopped building the fort at Ramah, and headed back to the capital city of Tirzah. Asa's act worked, for those mercenaries forced Baasha away from Ramah. However there will be a far greater price that will be paid in the long run.
I Kings 15:22 "Then King Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah."
While Baasha was battling Benhadad, Asa made a proclamation to all the men of the land, and they went up on that hill just north of Jerusalem, and took apart the fort of Ramah that Baasha had built. With those stones and timbers, Asa made two more mistakes. Neither Asa nor Baasha found out how to have peace of mind with God, for they tried to build their own walls of security away from the security that God gives. This is a lesson that will bring you peace of mind, if you pay attention to what pleases God. God will deal with Asa turning from Him before it is all over, for these mistakes.
II Chronicles 16:5 "And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease."
II Chronicles 16:6 "Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah,"
Asa thought he had won and outsmarted Baasha, but in turn he turned his back to God. God will now use Hanani the prophet to bring a special message to king Asa of Judah. God doesn't like it when His people turn against Him, and rely on their own devious means, such as heathen nations for their protection.
II Chronicles 16:7 "And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, "Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand."
Unlike prior times when the Africans came against Judah, when Asa called on the Lord for protection, The Lord scattered the enormous army of Egypt and its allies, Lybia, Ethiopians, and the rest of the African nations. God gave them not only the spoils back that they took from Judah, but the wealth they brought with them to the battle. Hanani was a prophet from the Lord, for God revealed to Hanani exactly what was to happen to Asa, and Judah for turning their backs to Him.
God came down hard of Judah and King Asa for resting on Alliances with foreign heathen powers. God expects His people to rely on Him for their blessings and protections. When a person thinks that they can go alone, then God will lift that hand of protection, and allow the correction to take place.
II Chronicles 16:8 "Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, He delivered them into thine hand."
God was the one that caused confusion in the enemy's camp, and cause them to scatter and lose sight of the men of Judah. God did the delivering, and they gathered the blessings and wealth after the heathen army scattered.
II Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars."
Our Lord can read right into the minds of the all men on the face of the earth, and he knows the intent of the mind and heart of each soul. He knows those that have put their faith in Him; and he also knows the foolishness in the minds that do their own plotting and leave God out of their plans. Again, this is the warning from the Prophet Hanani.
II Chronicles 16:10 "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."
When you speak out against the will of the people when they are wrong, then expect an opposition to rise against you; just as Hanani the prophet faced with king Asa and Judah.
II Chronicles 16:11 "And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel."
The acts of Asa are written in the book of I Kings, chapter 15.
II Chronicles 16:12 "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."
Two years later that sickness took Asa's life.
II Chronicles 16:13 "And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign."
II Chronicles 16:14 "And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kings of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him."
The reference to "sepulchres" [plural], meant that the one that he did build for himself was very great and majestic. This was not common amongst the king at this time. "Sweet odours and divers kinds" is emphasizing the great number of different kinds of odors placed in this majestic tomb.
In the beginning of Asa's forty one year reign Asa listened to Oded, the prophet of the Lord when he advised Asa to remove the idols and forms of idolatry and grove worship from the land. Asa sought the instruction of the Lord and was faithful to God's instruction through the prophet. Yet in time, he grew very self centered and forgot all the protection that Judah had, when God put his protective and on them in battle. A huge massive army out of Egypt and all of Africa came up against Judah, so many that the number could not be counted, and Asa prayed and sought God's protection from them. Yet later when Baasha and his brethren from the northern kingdom of Israel started to build the city of Ramah at the border of Judah, Asa ran off to make treaties and agreements with the heathen king of Syria for his protection.
Can you see why this would make God displeased with Asa, and remove his protective hand from him? It seems that when things are going well, men's minds tend to forget what made them strong, and where their real protection came from. It is not different today, than then. We see our national leaders make the most foolish covenants with outright godless nations, and commitments that our enemies never intend to keep in the first place. They make statements that show their lack of understanding that those nation, or their religious forms.
We are a nation built on a Christian foundation, centered in our laws and customs on the principles of the bible, yet in these end times of testing, our leaders chase off to make their covenants just as Asa did, with Ben-hadad, king of Syria. When you or any nation leaves God out of their planning, God will turn their devices back on their own heads; and that is exactly what happened to the small nation of Judah. Asa would spend the rest of his reign fighting many small battles continually until his death, and all the time Asa refused to call on the name of the Lord his God.
Our nation, as many other Christian nations, covenanted with the one world system for it's protection against terrorist nations and groups. That was supposed to be a group effort fighting off the evil nations of the world. Has it worked? hardly, before our nation can move to do anything, we find ourselves doing exactly as Asa did, running to the Ben-hadad's of the world to come against our own friends. We find that even our Christian brethren nations of the ancient house of Israel have covenants with the enemy for their gold and silver. They do things to harm us in secret, and then when it is know, they lie about it and our leaders cover it up for the sake of peace. These writings in the Old Testament are given as a lesson to us living in these end times; as Paul told us:
I Corinthians 10:11 "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  "Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 
These lessons from the Chronicles, Kings, and all the rest of the Scriptures are given to us living in these end times of this world age of flesh man. These are warning of exactly how it shall be in our day, and our leaders are doing exactly as Asa did, they are turning their back to God, and running to this godless world government for it's protection, and that same system will in turn bring us down. Why? God has just warned us that when we do as Asa did, He will treat us just as He treated Asa. Peace coming? Dream on, for just when we think peace is at our doorstep, then comes the fall.
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