WE have seen that all the kings of Israel, thus far, were bad men, who did not worship the Lord, and keep his commandments, but worshiped idols, and followed their own wicked desires. These kings kept on doing wickedly, and leading the people to follow their bad example, until the Lord sent the king of Assyria against them. This king not only conquered the Israelites, but carried them away captive into a country very far from their home, and made them dwell in the cities of the Medes. This was because they would not obey the voice of the Lord their God.

Most of the kings of Judah were also bad men, but some of them were very good. Asa was one of these good kings. He reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. He trusted in the Lord, and kept his commandments, and taught the people to do so too. He destroyed the idols that were in the land, burnt the groves where these idols had been worshiped, and broke down the altars where the people had offered sacrifices to false gods.

At one time Zerah, the Ethiopian, came up with a thousand thousand men, and three hundred chariots, to fight against Judah and take Jerusalem. "Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled."

"And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah, the son of Oded; and he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you."

But Asa did wrong in some things. He took gold and silver out of the temple, and gave it to the king of Syria to hire him to fight against the king of Israel. This displeased the Lord, and he sent the prophet Hanani to reprove the king, but Asa was angry at being reproved, and shut up the man of God in prison.



"WHEN I was a boy," says one, "I and a number of playmates had rambled through the woods, until, quite forgetting the fading light, we found ourselves far from home. Indeed, we had lost our way. 

By the edge of the field we saw a man coming along, and we ran to ask him. 

Whether he was in trouble or not, I do not know, but he gave us some very sharp answers.

"Just then came along another man, a near neighbor, with a merry smile on his face.

"'Jim,' said he to the sharp talker, 'a man's tongue is like that of a cat. It is either a piece of velvet, or a piece of sand-paper. Try the velvet,  man, try the velvet principle.