Sunday, June 14

Finish well

Scripture: 1 Kings 16, 2 Chronicles 15-16, Colossians 1

2 Chronicles 16:9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”

Observation

I wanted to journal from Colossians 1 which is so rich, but I felt drawn to this chapter and verse.

Chapters 14-15 describe the first 35 years of Asa’s reign, when he pleased the Lord.  He rid the land of idols, and even deposed the Queen Mother, his grandmother Maacah.  He gathered the people to worship the Lord and they declared their loyalty to God.  Judah enjoyed 35 years of peace; the only exception was when a huge foreign army attacked, then Asa prayed and relied on the Lord to deliver him.  And God did.  

But the story changes in chapter 16.  Asa’s final years were marked by repeated failure.  

  • When King Baasha of Israel attacked, Asa didn’t pray and rely on God as he had done earlier.  Instead, he took the gold and silver from the temple and hired King Ben-Hadad of Damascus to attack Baasha.  It worked; Baasha withdrew.  But the prophet Hanani told Asa that he had failed to trust the Lord who would not only have delivered him from Baasha, but handed Ben-Hadad over to him too!  It was a huge missed opportunity.  16:9 is the final word of Hanani’s prophecy.
  • Asa’s response was to have Hanani thrown in jail.
  • Asa began to oppress people.
  • Asa developed a serious foot disease.  But he didn’t seek help from the Lord, only from his physicians.  Then he died.

It is against that background that we understand 16:9 “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

Application

First, I want to finish well.  So many people in the Bible story didn’t—Asa was one.  His long peaceful and prosperous reign ended poorly.  I’m wrapping up my run as lead pastor at Life Center and moving into a new assisting role.  I want to finish well.  What does it take to finish well?  That’s…

Second, I want to be fully committed to the Lord.  I want a heart that seeks Him first and trusts Him fully.  I want to pray first and not rely on my own scheming.  That’s what I need to do.  That’s the way to finish well.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be fully Yours, to trust You fully and seek You with all my heart.