March 12, 2018
The Helix Nebula, called ‘The Eye of God’, as
photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope.
II Chronicles 16:9
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
In the last blog we talked about the Eyes of the wicked, which see things as if God will not know what they do – as if He didn’t exist! (See Psalm 14:1). Foolishness! For it says in Psalm 94:9, “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? ” Let’s continue exploring Eyes by looking at the Eyes of God from II Chronicles 16:9: “…the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
This Scripture is in the context of Asa, king of Judah. Some years before, an Ethiopian army a million strong invaded Judah! Asa had an army of 300,000 (see II Chronicles 14:8, 9) – outnumbered by over three to one! But the king relied on God! He plead in II Chronicles 14:11:
LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those
who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and
in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God;
do not let man prevail against You.
God answered the king’s petition! In the next two verses it is recorded, “So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled….And they carried away much spoil.”
Move ahead some years later to the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s 41 year reign (see II Chronicles 16:1, 13). It was then that “…Baasha king of Israel came up against Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.” (II Chronicles 16:1). What did King Asa do?
Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of
the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent them to Ben-Hadad king
of Syria…saying, “Let there be a treaty between you and me….break
your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from
me.” (II Chronicles 16:2 and 3).
That’s what Ben-Hadad did. The Syrians invaded Israel and Baasha withdrew from attacking Judah! (See II Chronicles 16:4, 5). So the crisis was passed! …or was it? Hanani the seer met Asa when the king returned to Jerusalem – and the prophet rebuked him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and…not…on the LORD your God, therefore the army of…Syria has escaped out of your hand.” (II Chronicles 16:7). Syria would later plague Judah with invasions and war! (See II Chronicles 20:2; 22:5; 24:23; 28:5). Hanani continued:
Were the Ethiopians…not a huge army…? Yet because you relied
on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the
LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself
strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you
have done foolishly…. (II Chronicles 16:8 and 9).
Although our featured Scripture is in a negative context, it is a powerful positive truth! “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” We mentioned in the last blog that in Jewish thinking, the heart is the seat of all the inner workings of man – from which come all thoughts, words, and deeds! A loyal heart toward God is when one is dedicated to Him, as Jesus said in Mark 12:30: “…you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” And when we put this in the context of John 14:15 in which Christ tells us, “If you love Me, keep My commandments…”– a loyal heart toward God is when one obeys “…the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” It is toward those that the LORD shows Himself strong on their behalf !
By the way, there is a further lesson to be learned from King Asa. You see, the king did not repent of his sin when he was confronted by the prophet Hanani ! It says in II Chronicles 16:10 (Contemporary English Version): “When Asa heard this, he was so angry that he put Hanani in prison. Asa was also cruel to some of his people.” Three more years passed. We are told in II Chronicles 16:12, “…in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was very severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD but the physicians.” When sin remains unconfessed and unrepented of, it hardens the heart! Such a person just gets further and further away from God!
I want God’s Eyes on me for good! So I sincerely try to keep my heart – my life – loyal to Him! Do you?