2 Chronicles 16: 9“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”
The Kings had to be reminded of the Lord’s presence and power from time to time. And, we continue that human tradition today. But, rather than looking to see what sins befall us, this passage tells us that He is looking for those of us who hold Him closely in our hearts. Where in this world, torn apart with war, are the hearts that hold Him closely?
2 Chronicles 16
Asa Wars against Baasha
1In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah. 2Then Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the LORD and the king’s house, and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying, 3“Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.” 4So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. 5When Baasha heard of it, he ceased fortifying Ramah and stopped his work. 6Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had been building, and with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah.
Asa Imprisons the Prophet
7At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. 8“Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand. 9“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.” 10Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him for this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time.
11Now, the acts of Asa from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians. 13So Asa slept with his fathers, having died in the forty-first year of his reign. 14They buried him in his own tomb which he had cut out for himself in the city of David, and they laid him in the resting place which he had filled with spices of various kinds blended by the perfumers’ art; and they made a very great fire for him.
2 Chronicles 17
Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa
1Jehoshaphat his son then became king in his place, and made his position over Israel firm. 2He placed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had captured.
His Good Reign
3The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals, 4but sought the God of his father, followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did. 5So the LORD established the kingdom in his control, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. 6He took great pride in the ways of the LORD and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah.
7Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; 8and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. 9They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the LORD with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.
10Now the dread of the LORD was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat. 11Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat; the Arabians also brought him flocks, 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats. 12So Jehoshaphat grew greater and greater, and he built fortresses and store cities in Judah. 13He had large supplies in the cities of Judah, and warriors, valiant men, in Jerusalem. 14This was their muster according to their fathers’ households: of Judah, commanders of thousands, Adnah was the commander, and with him 300,000 valiant warriors; 15and next to him was Johanan the commander, and with him 280,000; 16and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the LORD, and with him 200,000 valiant warriors; 17and of Benjamin, Eliada a valiant warrior, and with him 200,000 armed with bow and shield; 18and next to him Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 equipped for war. 19These are they who served the king, apart from those whom the king put in the fortified cities through all Judah.
2 Chronicles 18
Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab
1Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab. 2Some years later he went down to visit Ahab at Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth-gilead?” And he said to him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people, and we will be with you in the battle.”
4Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.” 5Then the king of Israel assembled the prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.” 6But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?” 7The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil. He is Micaiah, son of Imla.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”
Ahab’s False Prophets Assure Victory
8Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah, Imla’s son.” 9Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” 11All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
Micaiah Brings Word from God
12Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. So please let your word be like one of them and speak favorably.” 13But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what my God says, that I will speak.”
14When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” He said, “Go up and succeed, for they will be given into your hand.” 15Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” 16So he said,
“I saw all Israel
Scattered on the mountains,
Like sheep which have no shepherd;
And the LORD said,
‘These have no master.
Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”
Unjust Judgments Rebuked.
A PSALM OF ASAPH.
1 God takes His stand in His own congregation;
He judges in the midst of the rulers.
2 How long will you judge unjustly
And show partiality to the wicked?
3 Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and needy;
Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know nor do they understand;
They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods,
And all of you are sons of the Most High.
7 “Nevertheless you will die like men
And fall like any one of the princes.”
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth!
For it is You who possesses all the nations.