Legacies — Part 2

May 2, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts | 1 Comment

2 Chronicles 16:9.  “The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”  This famous verse has an interesting ending.  The prophet Hanani, who spoke these great words, adds this sad commentary to the end of the phrase: “You’ve done a foolish thing.”  The history that brought about that sad comment and the aftermath of it is quite a lesson in wholeheartedness.  Asa was the king of Judah, and he started out great.  “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God” (14:2), and God blessed him and the nation because of it.  For thirty five years Asa sought the LORD wholeheartedly.  However, late in his reign, he quit seeking God with all his heart.  He went into a battle without God’s guidance (16:1-8), and that battle is what precipitated the prophet’s great words and the sad commentary following.

          Though Asa began well, he didn’t finish well.  The sad result is that it took ten generations for another king to come along who was wholeheartedly devoted to the LORD.  Ten generations!  There were many good kings, to be sure, but most of the good ones were much like Asa – not wholeheartedly given to God for all of life.  His son Jehoshaphat is the perfect example.  He too followed the LORD for most of his life, but, just like his father, he didn’t finish well (see 20:35-37).

          I wonder, when I ponder words about full commitment, if I will finish strong.  I know my own propensity to fall away, to be self-centered rather than God-centered, to exalt myself above others, to rely on myself instead of God.  Could I become like Asa and like Jehoshaphat after him?  I’m afraid too easily so!  I also think of my daughter and the generations to follow her.  She is now committed to God, but what about when she gets out from under her parents influence?  Will she be only halfhearted because of my example?  Will her children and grandchildren be the same way?  I can only hope that won’t happen and determine anew to finish strong.  May God grant us the grace to walk wholeheartedly with him.  May our children and grandchildren follow that example rather than the halfhearted patterns we so often demonstrate.

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  1. I was recently reading Psalm 71:18. Notice that there is a job for those of us who are getting gray. It is to teach the younger generation. As my children approach adulthood my priority more and more becomes seeing them continue in the faith and that I finish well also. This is my prayer for my children and for the children of my friends. My generation should teach the younger generation. We shouldn’t leave that job only to the younger generation.

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