Summary: A lesson concerning our need to completely rely on God.
God is looking for a few “perfect” hearts.
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”
Perfect – to be complete or friendly. (NIV fully committed)
King Asa of Judah
Asa did what was right and good in the eyes of the Lord. He followed the Lord with zeal (verses 3-5, 15:1-15). He trusted in God to deliver him in times of calamity (verses 9-13, the attack of the Cushites).
The prophet’s admonition
Azariah brought the word of the Lord to Asa (15:1-2) The Lord is with you when you are with him. He will forsake you if you forsake Him. Asa had begun a great work for the Lord; but it appears that he started to waver somewhat in his zeal. Azariah encourages him to continue and Asa complies wholeheartedly.
Why did the prophet admonish Asa with the phrase “The Lord is with you when you are with Him.” I’m sure that God knew the tendency of Asa (as with us all) to become complacent in our relationship with Him. The first ten years of Asa’s reign were punctuated by peace. Then the Cushites tried to invade and God miraculously delivered Judah. There was then a period of peace for twenty-five more years. During this time, Asa let his relationship with God dwindle, as evidenced by what happen next.
Asa’s mistake – trusting in himself instead of God
Asa trusted in God when there was no other alternative (concerning the Cushites). When it came to the king of Israel, he succumbed to trusting in his ability. Not only that, but he took that which he had gained for the Lord and bought the help he needed (he took the gold and silver from the treasuries of the temple to pay the king of Aram). Matthew Henry wrote: “we trust in God when we have nothing else to trust to, when need drives us to Him; but, when we have other things to stay on, we are apt to depend too much on them.” This cost Asa a lasting peace in his kingdom (16:9 later half). Never trifle with the Almighty! Asa’s reaction was even more detrimental. He cast the messenger into prison and oppressed some of his subjects. Contrast this with the attitude of Hezekiah and his illness in 2 Kings 20. He accepted the Lord’s will and was given a longer life.
How do I maintain a perfect heart toward the Lord?
What high places or foreign altars do you need to remove?
Do you command those you have authority over to seek the Lord? (Your family)
Do you trust in God’s abilities rather than your own abilities? Faith; Trusting in His ability is setting out to do something that you have no possible way of succeeding in unless God intervenes (and you better be sure that it’s His will before you set out).
2 Cor 12:7-9 God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Phi 3:8-16 pressing on toward the goal, the attitude of a mature believer.
2 Tim 3:14-17 we are made perfect through the study of the word.
1 Peter 5:6-10 God makes us perfect (complete) when He restores us and makes us strong through suffering.
James 1:2-4 Affliction causes us to persevere, which makes us mature and complete. How can we trust in God if we can always find a way out by ourselves? The call is to persevere, even when times are good.