Also, he removed Maachah his grandmother from being queen mother because she had made an obscene image of Asherah. And Asa cut down her obscene image and burned it by the Brook Kidron. (1 Kings 15:13)
Grandmother Is Wrong
After the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel fell into a civil war that divided the northern ten tribes from Judah and Benjamin in the south. All of the kings of the north were evil and Israel would be destroyed by the Assyrians two hundred years later. In the southern kingdom of Judah, some of the kings were able to restore the worship of the one true God. The first two kings, Rehoboam and Abijah, walked in the ways of evil and did not serve the Lord. Asa, great-grandson of Solomon, became king following the short reign of his father Abijah and would rule forty-one years.
The reforms of Asa were sweeping in their designs to return Judah to the Law of Moses and to turn the hearts of the people back to the Lord. He removed the foreign altars and the pagan shrines, smashing the sacred pillars and cutting down the wooden images. The king banished the male and female shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. A major reform came when Asa removed his grandmother Maachah from her position as queen mother. The reason was that Maachah had made an obscene Asherah pole. Asherah was a Phoenician goddess, closely connected with Ashtoreth and her worship. This idol was a sensual Canaanite goddess Astarte.
When Israel entered Canaan, the Lord warned them to destroy the altars of the gods, break their images, and cut down their groves. Maachah had become enamored with Asherah and worshiped the forbidden gods. Asa took her image, crushed and burned it by the brook Kidron. He did not allow the family ties of his grandmother or parents to dissuade his decision to serve the Lord with all his heart. The reforms of Asa were established as a covenant between the people and the Lord to seek God with all their hearts and with all their souls. Refusing to worship the one true God was punishable with death. This law included the grandmother of Asa.
Family is a strong tie that binds the hearts of children and grandchildren to a lineage of blood. It has been said that grandmothers are the old ladies who keep mothers from spanking their children. An Italian proverb sums it up: If nothing is going well, call your grandmother. Few forces in the world can move heaven and earth like a grandmother looking after her grandchildren. She is revered, treasured, and respected with great reverence. But grandmother can be wrong and sometimes she can be so wrong it has eternal consequences.
Asa took a brave step to remove his grandmother from being queen mother and to crush and destroy her idols. The king was fully devoted to serving the Lord and he did not allow the love and influence of his grandmother to change his mind. Jesus taught His disciples that if a man loved his father or mother more than they loved Him, they were not worthy to be His disciple. He also said if a man loved his son or daughter more than Him, they were not worthy of Him. Asa knew the importance of serving God above his love for his grandmother.
It is sad to talk with people in the religious world about the gospel of Jesus Christ and hear them say they are unwilling to give up what their parents or grandparents believed. When the faith of a person is based on what grandmother believes instead of the word of God, there is a judgment that is brought by the Lord of condemnation. They refuse to say that grandmother was wrong or to suggest she followed a system of error. Their feelings of familial allegiance prohibit them from changing the family religion. If this was the case with King Asa, he would not have challenged his grandmother and her idol worship. Maachah was wrong. There was no doubt. Asa had to make a difficult choice. It was hard. His decision would cause a lot of problems in the family. Because his heart was wholly devoted to God, he chose to serve God and destroyed the idols of his grandmother.
Grandparents are nearly perfect (that is my story). Parents are pretty special and somewhat perfect. Grandchildren are wholly perfect. But when it comes to the word of God all grandparents and parents are sinful creatures struggling to seek the Lord. As much admiration and love one can have for their grandparents and parents, the will of the Lord is singular and without respect to the person. Grandparents can be wrong about what they believe as well as their parents. A child must make their faith their own according to what the Bible says. When judgment comes, no one will be able to answer for the individual. No grandparents will be brought to the bar of justice, no parents, no teachers, preachers, friends, or neighbors. Asa knew his allegiance was a personal choice. He made the right decision.