In chapter 15, we pick up the story with the ascension of Rehoboam’s son to the throne of Judah. Tragically, we learn that Abijam followed in his father’s footsteps, walking “in all the sins that his father did before him” (15:3).

Despite this family legacy, however, Abijam’s son Asa “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (15:11) and began an aggressive campaign of reform. Asa banished cultic prostitutes and abolished idolatry, even removing his own mother from her royal position for fashioning an idol. Asa presided over 41 years (2 Chronicles 16:13) largely characterized by peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile, we watch as Israelite leaders continue to embrace the sins of Jeroboam, dragging the nation through years of chaos culminating in an assassination and military coup that brought Israel to the brink of civil war.

This study in contrasts demonstrates the impact that one man’s choice can make. Despite his family history and the prevailing culture, Asa honored the Lord, and the people of Judah reaped the benefits for generations. We can be encouraged that in spite of personal baggage or societal pressures, our choice to remain faithful can profoundly influence the course of our families and communities.