The books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament summarize the lives of many kings of Israel and Judah. Some of the kings did what was right before God and some of the kings did what was wrong before God. One of the kings who did what was right was King Asa. 1 Kings 15 says Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. (It should be noted that David was not Asa’s immediate father, but is referred to as being a righteous ancestor). This Scripture passage goes on to say that Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 2 Chronicles 15 describes how Asa worked diligently to rid the land of idols and repair the Lord’s altar. He also led the people into a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul.
Unfortunately, Asa’s grandmother, Maakah, did not desire to seek the Lord like he did. She made idols and continued her worship of false gods. When Asa got wind of this, 1 Kings 15 and 2 Chronicles 15 both record that he deposed Maakah from her position as queen mother and cut down and burned the idol that she had made. 1 Kings 15:13 says:
He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
2 Chronicles 15:16 says:
King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
So committed was Asa to the Lord that he did not even let family members influence him to do wrong. Asa’s father, Abijah, who was king before him, did what was wrong before God and had a heart that was not fully devoted to the Lord. The same can be said about Asa’s grandmother, Maakah. The Bible does not mention anything about Asa’s mother, so we do not know what her attitude was toward God. But Asa’s life is certainly one we can emulate. However, it is Maakah who we are focusing on at the moment. What can we learn from her life?
1. Maakah found out that it pays to do wrong. Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Maakah knew that her grandson was trying to do the right thing by serving God and getting rid of idols, but she went and made an idol anyway. Perhaps she tried to keep it a secret from him, but she was not able to keep it a secret for long because he soon found out about it and had it destroyed. Because of her sins, Maakah did not prosper. She was disposed from her position as queen mother. Being disposed may have involved losing her royal palace, being sent into exile, or no longer being respected by the people she once helped rule. It certainly must have been an embarrassment to be told by your own grandson, “Sorry, grandma, but you’re done. I mean, what part of no-idol-making don’t you understand?”
If Maakah had confessed her sins and permanently renounced them, I am sure Asa would have shown her mercy and allowed her to remain in her position as queen mother until her death. This is similar to how God worked with people back then and to how He still works with us today. Pharaoh is an example of someone who did not prosper because he refused to obey God and let His people go. After David killed Uriah and committed adultery with his wife, Bathsheba, he was in anguish. But once he confessed his sin, he was forgiven by God and once again blessed by Him. We will not truly prosper if we sin and then keep that sin a secret. The truth of the matter is, it is impossible to hide anything – whether good or bad – from God. Therefore, it is better to fess up, admit our wrongdoings, and promise never to do that wrong again. Only then will we find mercy in the sight of God and be forgiven. If we confess our sins, Jesus the Christ is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.