The Heart of the Matter

from Lynda Lindsey

After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord. II Chronicles 12:1

He (King Rehoboam) did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord. II Chronicles 12:14

The prophet Ahijah speaking God’s words regarding Jeroboam: I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. I Kings 14:7-8

Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. II Chronicles 15:17

The Israelites knew the admonition to love God, the one true God, with all their heart, soul, and strength. Loving God wholeheartedly and thinking about His commandments continually was a central, everyday truth of their lives. But the human heart is fickle. We are easily swayed. We begin well; perhaps we intend to continue. But often we abandon our pursuit. Beginning, and ending well, in spiritual matters is time consuming. We take shortcuts. We begin to rely on our own strength instead of God’s strength. We make allowances. We deviate. And therein lies our downfall. 

Rehoboam rejected godly advise to rule with wisdom, kindness, and justice. He allowed idolatry to corrupt true worship until he and all Israel abandoned God completely. He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord. Jeroboam corrupted Israel’s worship by fashioning golden calves, erecting pagan temples more convenient in location than God’s Temple in Jerusalem, and expelling God’s priests, substituting men of his own choosing. Both Rehoboam and Jeroboam had heart troubles.

King Asa’s reign began well; his heart was fully committed to the Lord. Upon hearing from the Lord’s prophet, Asa removed the detestable idols from the whole land and repaired the altar in front of the Temple. Asa reinstated worship in the way God desired. Sadly, Asa didn’t end the last years of his reign well; but God knew Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord. Asa, and his kingdom, sought God eagerly, and He was found by them. Moreover, the Lord gave Asa and the people rest on every side as long as their hearts were fully devoted to Him. Want rest on every side? Get a heart checkup.