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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Catching the Eyes of God (2 Chronicles 16:9)

"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."

After thirty-six years of faithful service to the LORD King Asa makes a treaty with Ben-Hadad, king of Aram to prevent Baasha, king of Israel, from strengthening himself against Judah. He doesn't pray and seek God's counsel. He acts independently of the LORD. He totally violates Proverbs 3:5-6. He doesn't trust in the LORD but relies on his alliance with Ben-Hadad. King Asa should know better.

Years earlier when the Cushites marched against King Asa and far outnumbered his army he called upon the Lord and the Lord intervened on his behalf. In fact, the LORD crushed the Cushite army; King Asa and his troops destroyed and plundered their enemy. King Asa knows from experience that the LORD is with those who are with Him.

The Hebrews words above say, "The Lord Sees." The LORD constantly looks for men and women who will trust in Him and wait upon Him. And every now and again He finds such a man or woman:
  • As the LORD evaluates the corruptness of man his eyes fall upon Noah. God sees a man who so trusts in Him that in response to His instructions Noah builds an ark and preaches the coming judgment and lives while everyone else perishes in the flood.
  • Hagar names a place "Beer Lahai Roi" after she experiences the seeing eye of God.
  • Years later Isaac waits at Beer Lahai Roi, the place where "God sees me", for a bride chosen by his father's servant.
  • Twice in Deuteronomy Moses mentions the eyes of the LORD: once in relation to the land (Deut. 11:12), "the eyes of the Lord is always on it," and second, in relation to Israel (Deut. 13:18) where Moses urges the people "to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord your God."
  • David lives with an awareness of the watchful eyes of the LORD (2 Samuel 15:25 & 1 Kings 15:5).
  • And now, his descendant, King Asa, lives with an awareness of the watchful eye of God.
The eyes of God gaze through the haze of eternity (from our side) into time looking for a man or woman who will dare to trust in Him. Will His gaze fall upon you, fall upon me?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
1 Kings 15:33-34; 1 Kings 15:16-22, 32; 2 Chronicles 16:1-10
  • Why do you think King Asa made a treaty with Ben-Hadad without seeking the LORD's counsel?
  • How does King Asa respond to Hanani's rebuke? Why do you think he responds so poorly?
1 Kings 16:1-33; 15:23-24; 2 Chronicles 16:11-14
  • How many times does the Lord send someone to warn King Baasha of Israel?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Describe this period in Israel's history.
  • How many kings reigned in Israel while Asa reigned as king in Judah and how are they all described?
  • Who was the worst of the lot and why?
  • How are the last two years of King Asa's reign described?
1 Kings 22:41-46; 2 Chronicles 20:31-34; 2 Chronicles 17:1-18:1; 1 Kings 16:34
  • Describe Jehoshaphat's reign.
  • What does he do that creates fear for the LORD from surrounding kingdoms?
  • What does Jehoshaphat understand about God and His Word?
  • What one thing does Jehoshaphat do that negatively colors his reign?
Turning truth into prayer
Pray for President Obama. Pray that he will be aware of and live in light of the watchful eye of God. Pray also for pastors that they will be first and foremost faithful proclaimers of God's Word.