This is a continuation in the study of Israel’s kings. This lesson focuses on how Asa pleased God and had victory when he sought Him for help. Asa fails in the later part of his life by seeking a king and doctors (instead of the Lord) for help. He is still recorded in God’s word as a man whose heart was fully committed to Lord all his life (1Kings 15:14). As believers we will fail, but what is the overall condition of our heart? Is our life characterized by obedience to God? David failed but is remembered as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22).
This lesson encourages students to always seek the Lord first in all the decisions they make. It was created for older students but can be adapted for your individual needs. This lesson is only a guide to help you to prepare for your class. Click here to see all the Bible lessons in this series.
Bible Story: Asa Seeks God
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 14-16; 1 Kings 15:9-24
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, 2 cubes for “Whom do you seek” activity. For younger children, you could select some of our Christian coloring pages for an extra activity.
Learning Goal: Students will learn that a heart that is fully committed to the Lord seeks Him first for all decisions.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their understanding as they actively participate throughout the lesson. They will demonstrate their comprehension by answering review questions at the end of the lesson.
Learning Activity #1: Whom do you Seek? Create two cubes (one for possible decisions that students have to make and the other with possible people or things they seek help from) (Example for help cube: ?-allow students to come up with item that is not on the cube, friends, doctors, horoscopes/psychic, teacher, family. Decision cube: ?, school work, recreation, choosing friends, service to God) Have students roll the two dice together and discuss the way people might seek the help for the decision. Talk about how it is not wrong (except for the psychic option Deuteronomy 18:10) to seek this person for help as long as you go to God first.
Learning Activity #2: For a review game play a game like jeopardy.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: 2 Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
Bible Lesson: Asa seeks God
(Always begin teaching the lesson by having a time of prayer with the students.)
(If your class studied Abijah review what they learned from his life.)
After Abijah died his son Asa became king over the southern kingdom, Judah. Asa’s life is recorded in both 1 Kings 15 and 2 Chronicles 14-16. Let’s turn to 1 Kings 15:11 (have students put a book mark in this chapter if you plan to flip back as you study 2 Chronicles 14). What do we learn about Asa’s character from this verse? He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Let’s look down at verse 14 and see what else we learn about Asa. In order to get a bigger picture of Asa’s life let’s flip over to 2 Chronicles 14 where we will spend most of our time as we discover what Asa did in his life that showed his heart was committed to the Lord.
Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord His God. How did he lead the people to do what was right before God? (2 Chronicles 14:3-5) The people in Asa’s kingdom had turned their hearts toward other things that were not focused on the One True God. This was idolatry. They were worshiping like the unbelievers in the land. Anything that takes our heart off of God and has more control of our lives than God is idolatry. What are some things we need to remove from our lives so that God is given first place in our lives? (Allow responses. TV, friends, video games, sports, etc)
God had given the southern kingdom peace from their enemies. Asa used the time of peace God gave him to build stronger cities for the day that enemies would come against them.
If you are a believer you most likely won’t have a physical army attack you. Believers have an enemy. Our enemy is God’s enemy. God’s enemy the devil is prowling around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8-9). The only way you can stand against the time when he attacks you is by strengthening your faith every day (Ephesians 6:10-18). When God gives us time of peace we should continue to stay focused on Him and not neglect to daily pray, read God’s Word and memorize Scripture. How does prayer, God’s word and memorization of Scripture help us to be ready for battles/difficulties?
King Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord. As a result he spent the time of peace that God gave him with wisdom and was prepared when difficulty came.
Zerah the leader of the Ethiopians came to attack King Asa and the kingdom of Judah. He had an army of one million men and 300 chariots. How many fighting men did Asa have? (580,000) As the two armies took their positions to fight Asa seeks the Lord. Read 2 Chronicles 14:11.
God allows us to see an example from Asa’s life that shows how his life was fully committed to the Lord. Asa sought God’s help when he faced the Ethiopian army. He knew that he was powerless against this enemy. God was his shield and only defense (Psalm 7:10, Psalm 119:114, Proverbs 2:7). Asa called on the Mighty Name of God to deliver him from his enemy.
God hears the prayer of His children. He gives victory to those who fully rely on Him. He defeated the Ethiopian army and the soldiers received great plunder.
If believers want to have a heart that is fully committed to the Lord they must seek God first in every circumstance (Proverbs 3:5-6). He will direct His followers in the way they should go so he/she can overcome any difficulty that they face.
God sent His prophet Azariah to encourage Asa because He was pleased with him. Read verses 2-7. Azariah’s message from God instructs Asa to continue to seek the Lord and gives him encouragement that he would be rewarded for his work.
If you are following Jesus and seeking His help as you desire to please Him with your life, God will reward you.
Asa is encouraged by Azariah’s message and is moved to cleanse his kingdom of evil. He gathers the people and they offer a sacrifice from their plunder and make a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul.
What do you need to remove from your life that is keeping you from having a heart fully committed to the Lord?
Ever since sin entered the world people struggle with their sin nature. (Romans 7:14-20) When a person becomes a Christian the Holy Spirit lives inside his/her heart and enables them to say ‘no’ to sin and ‘yes’ to obedience to God. In chapters 14-15 we have seen King Asa seeking God and putting Him first in his decisions. He was blessed by God and experienced victory and encouragement from God. In chapter 16 we see how Asa’s sin nature had more control over him than God’s power.
Instead of remembering God’s victory over the Ethiopians, Asa faced the difficulty with Baasha King of Israel differently. Asa did not pray for God’s help. He used his own wisdom and bribed Ben-Hadad King of Aram to help him. Ben-Hadad helped Asa but God was not pleased that he had put his trust in man instead of the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:5)
God rebukes (corrects) Asa’s sin through His prophet Hanani.
God loves His children and rebukes/corrects us when we sin. Our response to God’s correction is to repent and go in the right direction that God wants us to go. God’s Word teaches us the right way to go. 2 Timothy 3:16 What changes do you need to make in your life so that you are in God’s word daily? By staying in God’s word you will be able to examine the direction of your life against what God’s plan for you life looks like.
Asa received correction from the Lord and had a choice to repent. Instead he responded with anger. Let’s see what he did in verse 10.
How do you respond to correction? Do you treat others harshly or have a bad attitude? God’s ways are the best ways and He lovingly teaches us how to live our lives to please Him. (Psalm 32:8) Instead of getting angry when you are corrected, humbly accept it and trust that it will help you to become all that God wants you to be.
Asa gets a disease that affects his feet. Once again he puts his trust in man and seeks the help of doctors instead of seeking God first. It is not wrong to go to a doctor. God uses doctors to help heal our sicknesses. Asa’s actions displeased God because he put his faith in doctors and didn’t ask God for help.
As we have examined Asa’s life we see that he is recorded as a good king. God allows us to see Asa’s sin to help us as we walk with Him. What do you learn about Asa’s sin?
We can experience victory/success in our lives as Asa did in his life when he looked to God for help. When we sin and God corrects us, we can experience forgiveness when we repent. Repentance brings blessings instead of bitterness in our lives.
How will you choose to live your life? Will you choose to look to God and experience His help or choose your own ways and experience difficulty?
Close in prayer.
Play a game like Jeopardy and allow the students to respond to the statements with a question.
- Removed foreign altars and cut down Asherah poles. (Who is King Asa?)
- Zerah. (Who is the Ethiopian that brought his army to attack Judah?)
- Large amount of plunder. (What did Asa’s soldiers receive when God defeated the Ethiopian army?)
- Azariah (Who is the prophet who encouraged Asa for seeking the Lord’s help?)
- Covenant (What did the Asa and his kingdom make before God?)
- Hanani (Who is the prophet God sent to correct Asa for seeking help from Ben-Hadad?)
- Diseased feet (What happened to King Asa that caused him to seek doctor’s for help?)
- Asa (What king’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life?)