God Is the One Who Gives

| Mon, Jan 7, 2013 | Set 3 Week 2

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2 Chronicles 16:9,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.

Far from a motivational line, 2 Chronicles 16:9 is actually a rebuke.

The truth in these words are contrasted with the behavior of King Asa toward the end of his life. Things began to go haywire for him, as we see in 2 Chronicles 16:2. Judah would be at war with Israel. Asa, king of Judah, rather than relying on the Lord for victory, goes out to buy help from Syria. This is not sharp military tactic — it is faithlessness.

Hanani the seer makes sure we get this. He steps up in 2 Chronicles 16:7–8 to speak the definitive word on what’s happened. “You relied on the king of Syria,” he says to Asa, “and did not rely on the Lord your God” (verse 7).

But Asa, Asa! Don’t you know that God supports those who rely on him? Victory comes when you stop looking to other things for the solution and start looking to God. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Asa didn’t get this. Will we? Will we learn from this story?

There are at least two points to take with us. First, God supports us. Second, his support is to those whose heart is blameless.

God Supports Us

God supports us and it will never be the other way around. We don’t support God, or help him, or give him anything as though he has any need. Self-sufficiency is what it means to be God. Only he is independant. Only he is satisfied within himself in everlasting joy. This truth is pervasive in the Bible: Job 41:11; Psalm 50:9–12; Acts 17:24–25; Romans 11:35–36; 1 Peter 4:10–11 (See John Piper’s explanation).

To act contrary to this, to act as if we give God something, is actually our attempt to play his role. To act as if we do him favors is our subtle attempt to put ourselves in his place and project upon him creaturely need. It is a false religion, and a popular one at that.

Be overwhelmed today that God is God and you are his. The reason your heart beats is because he speaks it. All that you have is given to you by him. Don’t ignore this wonder. Let us be humbled by it.

The Blameless, That Is

This verse gets more specific. God’s action on behalf of his creatures is peculiar to those whose hearts are blameless toward him. Now what does this mean? Considering the story of Asa and Hanani’s rebuke, we see that the parallel to blamelessness is trusting the Lord.

Here’s the snapshot: Asa didn’t rely on God, therefore God doesn’t support him in battle. Verse 9 gives us the rationale that God supports those whose hearts are blameless toward him. . . which means, to not trust God (like Asa) is to not have a blameless heart. And the converse is true, to trust God means to have a blameless heart.

Asa’s problem was that he didn’t rely on God. He didn’t have faith. He ignored who the Lord is and what he has said. This goes to show that God’s work on our behalf is not generic. It is focused on all his promises made sure in Jesus — promises that we will only taste if we trust in him.

So as we see the supremacy of God in this verse, we are left with the imperative to believe. To trust in the finished work of Jesus for us, to abandon all efforts of our own (Romans 4:5; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8–9).

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to support — work for, provide every need for, give victory in every struggle for — those who are his by faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Reflection

1. What is the context of this verse? How is this story significant?

2. What does it say about God that he supports us?

3. What does it mean to be blameless?

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