January 07, 2007

Your Mama (or Grandmama)

1 Kings 15:9-14

His grandmother's name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. 1 Kings 15:10


The writer of Kings almost always tells us the names of the mothers of the kings of Judah. But the same writer almost never tells us the names of the mothers of the kings of Israel. Maybe this is intended to highlight the ancestry of the promised Son of David (of Judah), whom we now know is Jesus (see 2 Samuel 7; Matthew 21:8-9).

In our reading for today we learn the name of the grandmother of Asa, probably for the sake of comparison with Abijah, who was her son (15:2). We're talking about the same woman here--but very different boys.

It's pretty safe to say Maacah was a bad influence. She was a daughter (1 Kings 15:3) of Abishalom (or Absalom), the rebel son of David (see 2 Samuel 15-18), and she built "a repulsive Asherah pole," probably a carving of Asherah, the female partner of Baal, a fertility god.

Maacah was not a nice woman. Abijah, her son, followed her influence. But Asa, her grandson, did "what was right in the eyes of the Lord" and took away Maacah's position of influence.

You also can do what is right. Maybe your mother was like Maacah, or your father like Jeroboam. But you don't have to be like them. You are not genetically destined to follow their sinful ways. God wants you to break the gravitational pull of the weak or sinful people in your life and stand up, like Asa, to live for the Lord.

Lord God, be our true Father and make us your adopted children. Give us the courage to break from the sinful patterns around us. Fill us with your grace. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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