Asa was the 5th King of the Southern Kingdom of Judah descended from David (cf. 2 Chron. 14-16). He started out as a good king, seeking and following God’s will as he led the people of Judah through many trials and tribulations. However, Asa became proud over time. Relying increasingly on his own wisdom rather than God’s, he put his trust in unholy alliances with pagan kings rather than in The King of the universe. The allure of the world clouded Asa’s judgement and he drifted away from the safety of God’s protective embrace.
That can be our experience as well. We go through periods of walking faithfully and closely with the Lord only to stumble due to complacency, busyness or worldly distractions. Almost imperceptibly, like a boat without an anchor, we slowly drift away from God. In such times it can be difficult to sense His presence at all.
It’s important to note that despite our perceptions, God is always with us and for us. He never drifts away from us (cf. Deut. 31:6; Heb. 2:1; 13:5-6), it’s always the other way around.
Like the loving Father that He is, in an effort to restore fellowship with us, God will bring correction when necessary (cf. Hebrews 12:6). As we read in 2 Chronicles 16, this is what He did with King Asa through the prophet Hanani:
“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. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.“ (2 Chron. 16:9)
Asa paid a heavy penalty for neglecting his relationship with God. We can avoid Asa’s mistake by humbly responding to God on His terms, as outlined in 2 Chronicles 16:9. Contained in this instructive warning is a beautiful description of God’s nature. It is simply loaded with insight into God’s character and has much to teach us about Him.
The basic idea is pervasive in the Bible. Put simply, God honours those who honour Him (cf. 1 Samuel 2:30).
Let’s take a closer look and see what this amazing verse (2 Chron. 16:9) teaches us about our wonderful Father.
God is Loving
The first thing we see is that God is loving. He wants what’s best for us. He wants to provide “support”, the verse says, to His children. In this context, ‘support’ can mean a lot of things, such as wisdom, sustenance, encouragement, victory and peace. He provides just what we need when we need it. He is our Jehovah-jireh (cf. Gen. 22:14).
God is Generous
God wants to provide “strong support”. Coming from the One who created the entire universe, that means a lot! When God puts His proverbial back into it, we can trust that whatever He provides will be beyond all our expectations. God’s “strong support” is all encompassing, complete, abundant (cf. Jer. 29:11; Matt. 6:33; John 10:10).
God is Proactive
The verse says that God’s “eyes run to and fro”. He seeks us out, just like when He went looking for Adam and Eve in the Garden after they disobeyed Him (cf. Gen. 3:8-9). He’s not some disinterested distant father sitting in a remote heavenly throne room that we have to constantly pester like a 3-year-old starving for attention: “Daddy! Daddy! Look at me! Look at me!” God is nothing like that. He takes an active interest in us as His children. He ‘comes down’ to earth looking for us. He wants to be with us. This was most significantly and profoundly achieved in the incarnation of Jesus Christ:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14; cf. John 1:1-18; Heb. 1:1-2).
God is Determined
According to 2 Chronicles 16:9, God is determined, even relentless, in His pursuit of our best interests. The verse says:
“[The] eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth” (2 Chron. 16:9)
God leaves no stone unturned. He never rests. He is 100% committed to strongly supporting His children. And what is God’s motivation for all this?
God is Relational
Our verse also teaches us that God is relational and seeks those who want to be in relationship with Him:
“to give strong support to those whose heart is ... toward Him.” (2 Chron. 16:9)
God has no interest in having an arm’s length, transactional relationship with us. He wants an open, honest, intimate and tender relationship with people who choose to love Him, not people who begrudgingly come to Him out of fear or for self-serving ends.
God is Holy
Finally, our verse teaches us that God is Holy and can only be in relationship with us if our “heart is blameless toward Him”, which because of His perfect love, He makes possible through Jesus. God sees us as blameless through the purifying shed blood of Christ:
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).
So, to sum up, what have we learned about our Heavenly Father’s character? God is a loving Father, who proactively engages with us, at our level, in order to generously support, guide and encourage us as we participate in a tender, open, honest and holy relationship with Him along our life’s journey.
Our part in this is really quite simple – ‘trust and obey’ (Prov. 3:5-6).
Let’s learn from Asa’s mistake and honour God through our love and obedience. With the help of the Holy Spirit, let’s resist the allure of this world and submit to the will of our loving Father who is eager to be with us every step of our life’s journey.
“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for Him.” (Isa. 64:4)