“O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NASB)
It shouldn’t be surprising to realize that as faith believing Christians we face resistance from those who do not believe in God. As we live according to the precepts and commandments God has given to us and if the teachings of Jesus are how purpose to walk on life’s journey, our enemy Satan will throw hard times in our path. It doesn’t take much for us to see our inadequacies—especially in living for and serving God. When life’s circumstances press in on us, we become aware of the challenges set before us and can quickly sense ourselves recoiling from it. There was this time when King Jehoshaphat of Judah faced the descendants of Lot, (i.e. Moab and Ammon), and the offspring of Esau, (i.e. Edomites), were intent on sacking Jerusalem and Judah’s forces. Jehoshaphat knew his weakness and was afraid. He was aware of their power and of the inadequacy of his own people. He also knew that the proper response to his weakness was full dependence upon God (2 Chronicles 20:3). As he confronted this reality, he kept his gaze firmly fixed above, praying, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
“But will God indeed dwell with mankind on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built.” –
2 Chronicles 6:18 (NASB)
These words in our verse today were spoken by King Solomon in his prayer of dedication for the Temple which he had built in Jerusalem. This was the first temple built in the nation of Israel. Solomon puts in perspective the omnipresence nature of our God. We know that God has promised to be with us always. So why did Solomon ask if God would really live with men on earth? Of course he was talking about God living in the temple as a house like we do, and being confined to one dwelling – and he was thinking of the Temple he had built. God did let His presence be known in Solomon’s temple. His glory did fill the temple as it had filled the tabernacle in the wilderness. But God was still everywhere else too. His dwelling is with us and with every true child of His throughout the world. We can be glad that the Lord God has promised this to us and we can know with certainty that He is with us today. As we understand the true meaning, we can answer Solomon’s question for God is with us – always and everywhere.
“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 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV)
The language used in our verse to describe how the LORD keeps watch over all the earth. It helps us to understand two of God attributes. One, he knows everything about all the earth and His creation on the earth – Omniscience. Also, He is present everywhere on the earth and in our lives. There is nowhere He is not – Omnipresence. The Hebrew for “run to and fro” means to rove about or roam. God does not have to move from one place to another to know what we, His creation is doing. But the language here is for our benefit to help us understand the way we might speak of God keeping His eye on us. He does and that’s our promise. Those He finds blameless toward Him receive strong support. In context, God had not found Judah’s King Asa of Judah blameless. Asa used temple treasures to coax Ben-Hadad the king of Aram-Damascus to attack Israel who was warring against Judah. Instead of trusting God he put his trust in a foreign power. The consequence for Judah and Asa was ongoing wars. If we trust God and His promises He gives us strength to do so.
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (ESV)
Let’s take a look at a promise we find in a Scripture verse that has been quoted, sung and used in many ways. Most times it is used like a call for HELP! From folks in our country. When circumstances are not the best this verse is turned to as if it is a direct promise to all who call on God. It can be but it also might not apply. The context is Israel at the time of the dedication of the Temple built by Solomon. God give a prophetic warning because He knows His people will fall into disobedience to His Word. “Then,” says God, “I’ll stop the rain and send spoil your crops.” But for them and for us God gave a recourse, five steps to the blessing. First our standing – “called by my name.” Second, our posture – “humbled.” Third our action – “pray”. Fourth next action – “seek God’s face.” Fifth another action – “turn (repent) of our wickedness.” If we claim to have no wickedness, we lie. (1 John 1:6) When we want to use this promise as a means to restore our nations, we are obligated to first to the Five Steps.