Early on in my life, I read a passage that became my life verse. It is found in II Chronicles 16:9 where God comes to King Asa, king of Judah. He tells him through a seer, or prophet the following. “For the eyes of the Lord move throughout the earth that He might strongly support those whose heart is completely his.” NAS. This passage hit me hard when I read it, because the seer was saying to King Asa that the Lord is continually looking all over the earth to find individuals whose heart is 100% devoted and committed to following after the teachings and direction of the Lord.
I took on this verse as a verse that I wanted to pursue with all of my heart. I had this verse caligraphied and put into a frame that is hanging on my office wall as I write this jlog. I have read it numerous times over the years, memorized it and given it to others as a word of encouragement in their journey with the Lord. This year is no exception as I was again reading through the scriptures and came upon this verse. This time as I read it something new popped up in my mind. Here is the passage with a couple of verses before and after it.
“At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.” II Chronicles 16: 7-10 NIV
God is taking King Asa back over history and telling him about the times when Asa rested upon the Lord and how the Lord gave him victory over the Cushites and Libyans. He also tells King Asa that in this present situation, King Asa didn’t rely upon the Lord. Asa blew it. Asa rested upon himself and not the Lord. Asa made a mistake. Why was the Lord bringing this bad decision to King Asa? Was it to bring him down? Was it to make him feel like a loser? Was it to give him the message that he was a failure? None of these thoughts came to my mind when I read this passage.
God wanted Asa to admit his mistake of trusting others versus trusting God. God wanted Asa to humble himself and admit his sin. Unfortunately that’s not what God got. Instead, Asa was angry for having the seer point out the truth and put the seer in prison. He took out his anger on the messenger, rather than humbling himself and admitting his wrong. Asa took it further by brutally oppressing other people who had nothing to do with his decisions. When we are convicted of sin in our lives and don’t take responsibility for our wrong actions, we like Asa take out our anger and frustration on those who are closest to us.
On this journey there will be times when we make mistakes and God through others or by His spirit will bring conviction. He is looking for a humble and remorseful response so that He can continually support us and give us direction for the future. Be careful how you respond to wrong roads taken.