2 Chronicles 12:1-16
Key verse 14
Part I. Humble hearts
There are many occasions in the Bible where God had determined to destroy a people, but held back his wrath because people humbled themselves. The case of Rehoboam and Jerusalem is one. The people of Nineveh in the book of Jonah is another. (Yes, Jonah is about more than just a big fish! ^^)
Sometimes, though, the people do not feel bad and continue doing whatever they were doing before. They ignore God's warning and then they pay the cost. It may be immediate or it may be later on, but it comes. Take the fall of Jerusalem, for example. Jeremiah preached God's warnings for years and years and the people began to think he was just making it up. Then Nebuchadnezzar came...
People ignoring. This reminds me of today. May we acknowledge God, as Hosea's book stresses!
In this passage, the people say that 'God is just' for having begun to punish them. It's not easy to admit that punishment is deserved and right. Even though I sometimes feel guilty, I don't want to admit that it was totally my fault, and so the punishment is a bit harsh... I have to remember to be humble and see things not just from my own perspective that is locked in time, space, and context.
Part II. Set your heart
King Rehoboam, Solomon's son, was not good like his grandfather David. Verse 14 says Rehoboam did evil. (I missed the day where he forced the slaves to work extra hard and declared that he would use whips not of rope but of scorpions...) Why did he do evil, I wonder?
The answer is also in verse 14. "He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD."
I need to "set" my heart on seeking God. As I learned this weekend, to set my heart means to decide early on and maintain my decision. This is taking a stand and holding the place. When my heart is set, it doesn't waver back and forth, but earnestly seeks God continually. I need to think about this. I want to learn more deeply what it means to pray without ceasing. I am coming closer, but I am still just beginning.
One Word: In humility, set your heart to seek God