Discover His heart: He rewards those who seek Him and obey His commandments
As parents, we’ve always been told that praises and rewards given to our children should outnumber our scolding and disciplines, and of course, this is worthy advice. However, sometimes these precious little ones go through stages where we wait with great anticipation throughout the day for just one behavior or attitude to praise. We don’t want to discourage our children with our constant disciplines. We want them to know that we love them and that we’re on their side, and we look for every opportunity to bless them and reward their good behavior. And we need to understand that God feels the same way about His children.
In our reading today, the kings of Judah gave God reason to bless them on occasion, and no doubt God was looking for every opportunity to bless His children. They were His special treasure, and He loved them, but just as with our children, He often had to wait for an opportunity to reward. When Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, and his leaders humbled themselves while under Egypt’s attack, God did not allow Egypt to kill them. He had been waiting for an opportunity to bless. Unfortunately, Rehoboam’s moments of surrender to God were few and far between and so were his blessings.
Abijah, his son, experienced a great moment of God’s protection and blessing while under the attack by the northern tribes of Israel when he proclaimed, “But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned Him,” (13:10) and God gave them victory. But, we learned in I Kings 15 that Abijah was most often unfaithful to the Lord.
The next king was Asa who did what was pleasing to the Lord for the first ten years of his reign. He responded to the prophet Azariah and removed idol worship from Judah and repaired the altar of the Lord. God was waiting to bless, and He wasn’t disappointed.
King Asa and the people of Judah entered a covenant with God to “seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul…They earnestly sought after God, and they found Him. And the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side.” (15:12,15) Hebrews offers this promise to us, “Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him.”(11:6)
There’s something to be said about seeking to do what God is already blessing rather than only asking Him to bless what we are doing. When our children act on our desire that their rooms are clean and orderly and go about cleaning them on their own volition, a reward and words of praise are pretty much a slam dunk.
Jesus gave us a heads up about what we can do that He is already blessing, “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him…God blesses those who mourn…God blesses those who are humble…God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice…God blesses those who are merciful…God blesses those whose hearts are pure…God blesses those who work for peace…God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right.” (Matthew 5:3-10) Blessings to you as you sincerely seek Him!
Moving Forward: I pray I’ll give Him plenty of opportunities to bless today.
Tomorrow @ Psalms 117-118