Featured Post

Tyler Morning Telegraph - Galdámez brings church planting, education experience to Grace Español

Here are two articles written by Emily Guevara ( Twitter: @TMTEmily)  on our background and on  Grace Español .   Tyler Morning Telegraph...

Internet Archive bookmarks for: despond

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What God is Looking For

I came upon this verse as I am reading through 2 Chronicles:
"For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on.” (HCSB and all subsequent verses). 2 Chronicles 16:9

There is anthropomorphism here. God describes Himself in human terms. This verse gives quite an image. It gives a sense of urgency, diligence. God isn't passive, He is actively seeking. What is He seeking? Hearts. Hearts completely His. Completely devoted to Him. For what purpose? To show His power.

The context of this verse is the third king of Judah after Israel has divided. Asa "did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God" ( 2 Chronicles 14:20) in times when all Israel turned away from God. This king cleaned up the house and he told people to "seek the Lord God of their ancestors." (2 Chronicles 14:4) Because of this God gave him rest and there was peace. He admits that this peace and rest had come from seeking Him (2 Chronicles 14:7). When the Cushites threatened him and came against him, he cries out: "Lord, there is no one besides You to help the mighty and those without strength. Help us, Lord our God, for we depend on You." (2 Chronicles 14:11). God gives Asa victory and all the cities around them were terrified of the Lord. In 2 Chronicles 15 he gets a reminder from a prophet as to why he has been successful in war. He is told, "The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you abandon Him, He will abandon you." (v. 2) The prophet encourages him saying, "be strong don't be discouraged, for your work has a reward." (v. 7) Asa leads the people in spiritual revival. So far so good until chapter 16.

Asa is faced with war from Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and he panics. He bribes the King of Aram who is an ally of Israel by giving him silver and gold in return for his allegiance. The king of Aram attacks Israel instead. Judah won. Asa lost. God sends Hanani to rebuke him for his lack of trust. Instead of depending on God, he depended on the King of Aram. He had not learned the lesson that God wants to show himself strong (powerful) in those whose hearts are completely His. Our hearts must be focused on Him and on nothing else. There can't be half-hearted followers of Yahweh. It is not "God helps those who help themselves" what God seeks diligently. He is seeking people who will give Him all of their hearts, totally devoted to Him not just Sundays or special days. No holding back anything even when things get difficult.

Asa became angry after this and puts Hanani in prison and mistreats people. There is no change of heart from Asa. In fact he gets a severe disease on his feet and refuses to seek God: "Yet even in his disease he didn't seek the Lord but only physicians." (v. 12) So he dies. He had experienced the blessings of God but refused to give God glory. He held on to his heart. He couldn't let go of his anger and pride. Sad ending.

Asa's heart never became completely God's. The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart. His heart was completely God's. David wasn't perfect. He failed many times but his heart was always God's until the end of his life.

What about my heart? This is what I am striving for. What about yours?

Today I awoke with the first line of an old Irish Hymn which applies to this topic. When I read the third stanza I was reminded of Asa. He should have "sang" that part. But the whole hymn talks about being totally devoted to God. He should be our singular vision.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Words: Dallan Forgail (8th Century)

Post a Comment