King Asa was a Biblical leader who was careful to obey the Lord, and who led the people under his care to do the same. In the book of II Chronicles, chapter 14, we see that he demolished heathen altars and chopped down the shameful idols, and in return, God blessed the kingdom with peace.
Asa had roughly 580,000 troops under his command, all well-trained warriors. In verse 9, an Ethiopian king, leading an army of 1,000,000, set out to attack Asa. Asa’s plea to God is found in verse 11 (NLT):
“O LORD, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O LORD, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!”
As a response, Scripture tells us that the Lord defeated the Ethiopian army. Out-numbered nearly two-to-one, Asa’s army, under God’s power, staggeringly defeated the attacking forces.
Additionally, Asa decided to attack the land into which they had chased the Ethiopian army, and “terror from the Lord came upon the people there” (14:14). Asa’s army plundered both the dead troops, and the residents of the nearby cities, pulling in an enormous haul, capturing, among other treasures, all the sheep and camels.
Upon his triumphant return from battle, Asa was met by the prophet Azariah. In II Chronicles 15:2, Azariah issued both an encouragement and a warning, “The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”
Taking heed, King Asa decided to enter into a nation-wide contract to worship only the Lord God of their forefathers. Anyone who refused to agree, or broke covenant, would be put to death: man, woman, or child. The king was committed to his purpose: He even deposed his grandmother, removing her from her position as queen mother, because she had made an idol.
As he aged, however, perhaps lulled by the peace God brought to his reign, Asa began to turn from his commitment, and from serving God. The prophet Hanani even gave warning to Asa, for which Asa threw him in jail. A few years after that, the king became very ill, but 16:12 relates that, “even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the LORD’s help but turned only to his physicians.” Asa, unsurprisingly, died a short time later.
So, what does this have to do with prophetic art?
To me, this story depicts a life that was at first, very dependent upon the Lord. Asa stated his total helplessness, and recognized that it was only God who could help him. As we minister to people, we often come to that point of desperation and, like with Asa, our King always comes through, blessing us beyond our grandest imaginations, causing us to be like a shepherd, with sheep hungry for prophetic art.
When Azariah encouraged Asa, he took heed: he even made the people covenant to serve the true God. Then, when King Asa was aging, he started to fall away from his Master and King. When the prophet admonished him, it fell on deaf ears; he fell even deeper into sin!
Sometimes, we prophesy by art, and most of the time, it encourages people, but it can also happen that God gives us a word by picture for a group or an individual, and they respond to it by straying even further from the Lord, as happened with Hanani’s message to Asa. However, it is not up to us how people react; we just give the picture that the Lord instructs us to draw, and it should not matter whether people like it and take heed, or dislike it and turn away.
Overall, the story of Asa is a warning sign, especially in the area of our character development, and in our response to Him.
The Lord has blessed me immensely in the Kingdom of God. Prophets have spoken truth into my life, and He has given me the grace to follow through. May you heed the warning given in the Word in the life of King Asa, so that you do not wander away from Him as you are blessed with artistic and prophetic gifting. As He develops that in you, may you stay close to Him in every process. Remember that He is our only source; nothing we have belongs to us. When we come to that point in our life he will truly blow the trumpet of victory over you as seen below.