Recently I read something about a person in authority, someone who lived a long time ago. What I read sat me up straight in my chair and made me think.
Can you imagine these words being etched in history for all to read?
“He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly.”
Ouch! What stinging commentary on a man’s life! “…but not wholeheartedly.”
….but not wholeheartedly. It reminds me of less-tactful terms I hear occasionally Outside the church walls, primarily in manufacturing and construction environments, Shoddy. Half- ____. Substandard. Mediocre.
I never want to be that again. I say “again” because I lived and served that way for a time and it led to heartache, failure and destruction, conditions that reminded me of what I read in 2 Chronicles where I saw those words “but not wholeheartedly.” They were written about the young man who replaced “little king Joash.” Remember him? The boy-king who decided to restore the temple in Jerusalem?
Apparently there was a quiet strong voice influencing him, a man by the name of Jehoida, a priest in Jerusalem, the priest God used to bring Joash into power in the first place (2 Chron. 23) Not long after Jehoida died (at the ripe old age of 130!) Joash listened too closely to the accolades of his officials, paid too much attention to the homage they brought him, and his downward slide toward destruction began. Amaziah was Joash’s son and successor. Two verses into history’s summary of his life life comes the indictment, “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly.”
I hope the rest of my life is such that I can outlive and outshine the “not wholeheartedly” part of my journey. It’s not going to be easy. Is it ever? Sins pull is gravitational.
Joash’s son didn’t do well – 2 Chronicles 25 is a thumbnail sketch of his reign.
His son Uzziah started out fine, “as long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success” (26.5) and “he was greatly helped until he became powerful.” but pride led to his downfall as well. (26.15c-16).
It wasn’t until Jotham, Uzziah’s son, took the throne that we read “Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the LORD his God.” (27.6)
Say that about me, O God!
Help me – like you did Uzziah. I’ll seek You.
Protect me from the “but not wholeheartedly”s of life. You have the power to help or to overthrow (25.8)
You can provide / give much more than the money spent on poor choices (25.6-9 -about $1.3 million by today’s standards)
Grant me success (YOU define it, not me) as long as I seek You.
Help me walk steadfast (steadily directed; unwavering) before You.
For You —You alone— are my God.