Grace For The Journey
The Bible says in2 Chronicles 16:9, “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 perfect (complete) toward Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
“The eyes are the light of the soul” some have said. I believe that the eyes can generally reveal what is taking place in the heart. The eyes say a lot when someone is startled, joyful, downhearted, or angry. In some lands there are superstitions regarding the color of “the evil eye.” My siblings and I thought our mom had “eyes” in the back of their heads. The eye’s design is one of the astounding miracles and purpose of the Almighty and is one of the five senses we treasure.
It is no wonder that the Bible speaks of the “eyes of the Lord.” Though God is Spirit and not confined to physical form there is no doubt that He “sees.” The Bible refer to the sight of God in such phrases as “nothing is hidden” from Him, we stand “before Him,” and “He sees” the plight of those who fear Him for He is over all.
Referring to the “vision” of God is a human way of saying that God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing). In practical terms, He is all seeing, all sensing, all wise, all evaluating, all superior, all noting, all remembering, and either rewarding or judging as fitting to the circumstance.
Our text is interesting because it is found in the story of King Asa of Judah. In 2 Chronicles 14:2–4 the Bible records that, “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment.” During Asa’s reign a prophet told him, “the Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” He generally followed that advice, but towards the end of his reign he looked elsewhere for his security and found it from worldly sources without consulting God. Because of this act of God’s plain command our verse is given. Because his heart was not fully loyal to God, Asa would now face ongoing wars during his reign.
The word “perfect” comes from a vivid Hebrew word that has various renderings by English translations: “loyal, true, whole, completely His, fully committed, blameless.” The meaning is “that those who look to God alone for deliverance, in the hour of enemy invasion, are demonstrating a loyal, perfect, true heart toward Him.”
God is actively looking for this kind of devotion. When it says His eyes “run,” it means they are “on an aggressive, high-speed search.”
God is looking
Is lifted to,
And locked on,
Him for help.
When God finds this kind of heart loyalty, He shows Himself strong on their behalf. He fights for them.
The context of our Scripture is all about deliverance from enemy invasion. When the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, God wants to answer by demonstrating His mighty strength and awesome delivering power. But He’s looking for singular focus.
The same assurance is repeated in Psalm 33:18-19, where the Bible says, “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.”
It seems that Asa’s son, Jehoshaphat, learned from his father’s mistakes, because when Jehoshaphat was invaded by a formidable army from Edom and Moab during his own reign, he spoke up and said to the people of Jerusalem, “Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20). You should read 2 Chronicles 20 again to see how mightily God delivered Jehoshaphat from the Edomites. It’s an amazing story!
Asa had forgotten the words of King David (his forebear), where he declared in Psalm 32:8, 33:13-19, and 34:15, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” . . . “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine” . . . “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”
Why such an intense interest displayed by God?
It is in the affairs of men (created in His image)
That He intentionally and personally acts
In relationship to His revealed Word.
Those who yield in loyalty to His divine prerogative are treated to ringside seats to displays of His strength, wisdom, sustaining grace, and covenantal lovingkindness. It should be our deep desire to always look to the Lord, learn from Him, lean upon Him and live by His wisdom and ways. David had this desire. In Psalm 17:8 He says, “Keep me as the apple (pupil) of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings.”
With a pure heart and clear conscience, the believer desires the approving “eye of God” to contentedly rest upon Him in harmony with God’s all-wise and all-loving plan. Have you been invaded by a foreign force that is trying to steal, kill, and destroy joy, peace, and enjoyment in your life? Give your heart in perfect loyalty to God, wait on Him, and He will show Himself strong on your behalf – He will fight for you. His eyes are eagerly searching for this kind of devotion!
Are there things you do in your life which you wish God did not see of which you must repent and confess? Do you make yourself available to God and make it your daily request that He demonstrate His strength through you as He pleases? Do you desire for His eye to rest on you? Then your life must be characterized by trusting and obeying Him.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
2 thoughts on “Learning To Live By God’s Power”
2 Chron 16:9 is one of my favorite scriptures. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. If I may suggest a post topic: What does a perfect (loyal, ESV) heart toward God look like? Jehoshophat is my favoriate story as well. I find great comfort in this verse and the story of Jehoshophat. May my heart always stay perfect and loyal to God and not look to the world.
Thank you Joyce … Good suggestion for another post – will seek the Lord’s direction on that idea. Amen on your continue desire – that should be all our desire – only way to glorify and honor God!