Online Bible Commentary
The Fate of a Sometimes Christian
2 Chronicles 16:7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: "Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. 8 Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge 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 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; therefore from now on you shall have wars." 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time. 11 Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. 13 So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign. (NKJV)
King Asa of Judah was the son of Rehoboam and the grandson of Solomon. He had an up and down relationship with the Lord. He got off to a great start, obeying the Lord at every turn. In return he, and Judah, was blessed abundantly by the Lord. But Asa’s spiritual journey was very inconsistent, and so were his blessings.
In this passage, Asa has just paid the king of Aram a fortune in gold to turn back aggression from Israel. He even took gold from the temple to pay for protection. The prophet Hanani came to Asa and rebuked him in the name of the Lord for his disobedience (v.7). The Lord had protected Asa and Judah at every turn, but now Asa has turned away from the Lord (v.8-9). Asa’s punishment was that he would “have wars” from now on (v.9).
Asa, thinking himself greater than the Lord, rebelled at the Lord’s correction. He “shot the messenger” (imprisoned Hanani) and persecuted some of his people (v. 10).
The Lord withdrew His blessings from Asa (vv. 12-13). What started out so great, ended badly. Three years later Asa came down with a disease, and two years after that he was dead.
Asa’s story is not unlike a lot of Christians’ stories. They have a rocky road with the Lord. Some Christians just do not understand the way the Lord works. Others, like Asa, do understand but bow their necks and decide to do things their own way. Either way they are destined for trouble.
We see the way the Lord works in verse nine, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.” The Lord wants to bless each and every one of His children, Christians.
He has blessings stored up in Heaven for each of us. He scans the earth looking for those who are fully committed to Him, so he can bless them. When he finds them He opens His storehouse and showers them with blessings.
But then some Christians are like Asa. They know how the Lord works but for whatever reason they bow their necks and rebel against Him.
They always have good reasons for what they do. They want to be popular. They want to fit in with their peer group. They do not want to lose their friends. They want to be thought of as “cool”. They are committed to something else, like fame, power, or wealth, and refuse to put God first. They are Christians, but only sometimes, when it suits them.
In fact, these “sometimes Christians” may not be Christians at all. If they do get to Heaven, they will be disappointed to see all the blessings the Lord had stored up for them but could not bestow upon them. They will have lost their blessings, chasing after the things of the world.