If You Forsake Him
If you forsake him, he will forsake you…
Solomon's warned the people: "And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’ “But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples" (2 Chronicles 7:17-20).
Years later when Asa became King, the prophet Azariah said unto him: "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you" (2 Chronicles 15:2).
In his early kingship he was faithful unto God. He put away the detestable idols from all the land (vs.8). They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD their God with all their heart and with all their soul (vs. 12). He even removed his mother from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah (vs. 16).
However in his later years he entered into a covenant with Ben-hadad king of Syria. Instead of trusting the LORD for political safety he sought political safety in men. He was reproved by the prophet Hanani because he relied on the king of Syria instead of relying upon God (16:7-8). The response was to have Hanani thrown in prison and placed in the stocks! (vs. 10). Then in his very last years he became diseased in his feet. "yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians" (16:12).
Under the Old Covenant, if you were faithful in your seeking after the LORD, you would be blessed in that effort, and if you forsook the LORD you would be cursed with evil and difficult consequences. We read and watch as some kings were faithful and Judah lived in peace and protection. We then read of other kings who led the nation away from the LORD and into the worship of idols. This brought judgment from the LORD, usually in the way of other nations bringing war upon them.
Faithfulness is not a onetime belief of facts. One can believe in the existence of God and yet be unfaithful to Him. Faithfulness is not for a moment but for your life. "Be faithful unto death" is the statement in Rev. 2:10. All of your life you must seek the LORD with all your heart and soul.
Some other observations need to be kept in mind as we read this section of the Bible.
1. The Old Testament promised the NATION of Israel this specific blessing and curse from God. The Old Testament dealt with them as a nation and was a law that covered their religious, political, and social life.
2. Many of the blessings for faithfulness under the Old Testament were temporal and worldly. They were promised food, rain, and peace from their enemies.
3. While some in the nation were unfaithful (most?), those that were faithful also suffered because they were part of the nation. Such was not personal from the LORD.
Does this example of Asa preclude Christians from seeking a doctor? NO. He apparently sought the doctors without seeking also the LORD. Jesus plainly said "the sick have need of a physician" (Matt. 9:12). Yet along with our seeking what we can do to improve our health, we must also seek the LORD. We are instructed to pray for one another. While pursuing help from the medical profession we also cast our cares upon the LORD (1Pet. 5:7).