The Heart of the Matter


“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.  In this you have done foolishly …” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV)

The thought that we might be having a heart attack is frightening to say the least!  Everything seems to be working internally when suddenly the onset of a sickening, painful feeling, and then a something-is-very-wrong event begins to unfold!

And when it does … when measures have been taken … you find yourself in the Emergency Room … tests are run … and it is discovered you have some sort of blockage in one or more of your arteries … fear and uncertainty … what about my family … am I going die … all these thoughts and more race through our minds.

When our physical heart hurts we’re in trouble!  When it fails … we die!  And medical journals tell us that thousands are, in fact, dying every day because of heart disease.  But even more of an epidemic and even more serious than a physical heart problem, is the problem of spiritual heart disease!

When considered in the Bible, the “heart” is not just part of who we are … it is the center of who we are!  Your heart … my heart … includes our emotions (Proverbs 15:15, 30), as well as our will (Proverbs 11:20; 14:14), and is the center of our reasoning and thinking (Proverbs 3:3; 6:21; 7:3)!

And we must come to realize that our spiritual heart is susceptible to disease!  Sin can and does infect our hearts causing all kinds of coronary problems that if left without treatment from the Great Physician … will lead to spiritual death and to an eternity without God!

The heart … your heart and mine … is the private place where we make our decisions … where we entertain our deepest thoughts … and our most determined purposes!  In nearly 1,000 references in the Scriptures the Bible beats with its importance and its relevance.  It is to be closely guarded, protected from disease and exercised in the ways God says will contribute to a healthy heart!

The context of our passage today is a record of what happened to a king by the name of Asa who at one time had a good heart … a heart that was loyal and dependent on the Lord … but who later on in his life allowed his own pride and self-will to turn his trust away from the Lord and to himself and other men! And so that decision was followed by yet another bad decision leading to his death!

And so, when the prophet came and delivered his message of doom to King Asa, it was very clearly and pointedly shown why he lost the battle, the war and ultimately his life.  How did God know what this king was thinking?  How did He know why he did what he did?

The expression ““For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth” is indicative of the close attention, not to make light of, but rather the searching into the course and reasons of mankind’s heart! God alone can do this without prejudice!

What a beautiful expression of comfort to the one who is trying to serve God with a loyal heart to know that He is aware of every sorrow, every temptation and trial and every challenge to our faith, love and commitment to Him!

What a disturbing expression of God’s awareness of everything going on in every heart and every life when a divided heart exists!  Nothing escapes Him!  There is no oversight … no being busy elsewhere for Him to know … no place His eyes cannot see! As one commentator says, “In all the whole wide earth there is not one spot so lonely, one heart so darkened as to escape those eyes.” (F.B. Meyer)

What each of us must come to understand, appreciate, and respect concerning the condition of our own spiritual heart is this … the very same critical and costly mistake that King Asa made, can be made by each one of us when we think we know what’s best for us rather than the Lord!

God says to each of us, “Watch over your heart with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23) and the reason He says that is to be done by each one of us is that our “heart” is the only part of us that is eternal!  I cannot think of a better reason to be careful as to what I allow to enter my heart or even worse to make its home in my heart that could in any way cause me to lose my soul!  Can you?

Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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