from Lynda Lindsey
God’s message to Asa from Azariah: The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. II Chronicles 15:2(b)
God’s message to Asa from Hanani: For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war. II Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. I Peter 3:12; Psalm 34:15
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Two messengers sent from God to Asa yielded two different responses. King Asa, encouraged by Azariah’s words, began spiritual reform in Judah. Asa did what was right in God’s eyes, obeying God, relying on God’s strength, and God allowed the land to have peace and rest. But things changed. Asa turned to human solutions, leaving God out of the equation. Help arrived, not from the mighty hand of God, but from a pagan nation…and God was not pleased. Asa spurned Hanani’s words, refused to repent and imprisoned the prophet. Asa’s actions brought brutal oppression to the people, resulting in war, not God’s rest and peace.
The Lord is with us when we are with Him. If we seek Him, He delights in revealing Himself to us. God is so committed to us that His eyes constantly range throughout the earth to find and strengthen His own. The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch over both good and evil. God has set choices before us. Choose God. Choose His ways. Obey His Word. Seek His Presence. Cry out to God in prayer. Rely on God’s strength. Seek His face.
Asa’s downfall? He didn’t repent when he forsook God. When confronted with his own foolishness, Asa stubbornly refused to seek God’s forgiveness, thereby forfeiting God’s rest and peace. The Lord is with us when we are with Him; our sin keeps us apart from God’s sweet Presence. Sin keeps us from resting in God’s peace. The Good News? Jesus made provision for our sin! Repent and confess. Don’t stubbornly repeat Asa’s mistake. Turn back to the Lord. Rest and peace await!