Friday, June 2, 2017

2Chronicles 12:14 - Preparation of the Heart

Truly, reading through the flawed kings of Judah makes one to confess that Christ alone is King of kings and Lord of lords.

And the Lord holds before us in 2Ch 12:14 how it was that Rheoboam's sinful flesh maintained the upper hand with him, "And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD."

(See also 2Chr 19:3, "Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God." ... and 2Chr 30:18b-19a But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers" ... and Ezra 7:10 "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel" ... and 1Sam 7:3 "Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines")

The word means to prepare or make ready, with a connotation of strengthening, establishing, and steeling the heart in a particular posture or attitude. God knows our dullness, and He has provided us this instruction: hearts such as ours must be intentionally conditioned to know and love and obey Him. Our hearts will not naturally do so merely because we wish they would. Moreover, He warns us of what we are wont to do if we do not prepare our hearts to seek Him. We are likely to end up rejecting all sound wisdom and indulging the folly and sin of our original, fleshly nature.

We who long that kings would be righteous, and that we ourselves would be upright in all that we do... Here is a biblical prescription for us: we must prepare our hearts to seek the Lord!

Let us be eager at the Word, sacraments, and prayer... these means through which we have Christ's own heart by grace.

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