THE PERFECT HEART
EVIL WILL NOT SOJOURN WITH THEE!
"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." (II Chron. 16:9)
"Evil will not sojourn with thee," said the Psalmist of the God of Israel. It is easy to pass over so simple a phrase of Scripture without any notice of its meaning for us personally. The fact of God's unsullied holiness is one that is deeply significant in the believer's faith and experience.
However, this fact is also often taken for granted and the blessedness of it has been lost. Have we stopped to consider what a wonderful revelation this is, that evil cannot sojourn or dwell with God? Nothing evil can be devised in, or issue from the nature of God and nothing evil can tempt or taint the will of our holy Lord. (Psalms 5:4; James 1:13)
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
This truth can exclusively be said of the true God presented in the Bible. Other religions do not speak of their gods in terms of their power and sovereignty, but purity and justice are not considered as important.
If a man turns from his evil ways and begs the mercy of such gods in these religions, he has no assurance that he will be forgiven. On the other hand, a man who fulfils certain ceremonial duties and rituals while he continues in wickedness and deceit may still be eligible for salvation in the heavens of such religions.
Such a verse as "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap" could hardly hold true in such a conception of God, for in these religions a man can sow to the flesh and still reap eternal life, and another could sow righteousness and yet reap damnation. To us this is a false idea -- a perverse idea of the one true God.
GOD IS NOT CAPRICIOUS BUT FAITHFUL
Our Lord in contrast is not capricious but faithful in His justice and mercy; His ways are ever equal; His warnings are exact; His promises are as good as their fulfillments. 0 how we must praise Him for the infinite purity that always prevails together with His almighty power. We should thank Him for all that this means and can mean to us.
The Scriptures and experience all witness to the faithfullness of God in Christ. He has never failed to punish sin or to respond to repentance and faith. The Cross of Christ is the great blending of justice and mercy. The combined demonstration of His love and wisdom and power was in the death of Jesus who bore the curse that was upon man and upon the creation.
If conditions are ready for judgment, God will send judgment. If conditions are ripe for blessing and grace, God will send those very things. God will respond to the conditions that men humbly fulfill.
GOD WILL RESPOND
There need be no doubt on our side as to whether God will respond; that must be a settled thing in our minds and hearts so that we might face honestly and squarely our responsibility toward God. Everywhere in the word we see this combination between God's faithful workings and the conditions that must be met by men.
In II Chron. 16:9 Hanani the prophet came to Asa the kings of Judah after he had failed to trust God in a time of trouble and crisis, and said to him, "The eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in thee behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him". This verse was spoken to Asa as a rebuke for not trusting God; for us it contains thrilling truths and a key to God's working in the earth.
THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD
We all believe that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth; we have a big word for this --we call it the omniscience of God, i.e. the all- knowing of God. We also believe that God can show Himself strong, infinitely strong, in the world; we call this the omnipotence of God. This verse, however, shows us another truth, not concerning God but concerning ourselves. It shows us that all the3 power and knowledge of God is largely hindered from being manifested among men until He finds those individual hearts that are "perfect toward Him". In such hearts God can work freely and perform His will on earth as it is in heaven.
People wonder how they ever can hack their way through the jungle of theological terminology and get to God to find the peace they desire for their souls.
GOD'S PLAN IS FOR SIMPLE LIFE
That the simple life is God's ideal and plan for man seems plain from the account of Adam and Eve in the garden. Doctrinally they had no trouble. They needed not to study systematic theology or the doctrines of the deeper life. They just lived in the purity God had provided. Morally, they had only one requirement, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the physical realm provision was bountifully provided. The climate was ideal, the scenery was wonderful, clothing was no problem and food was provided. Doesn't it seem that they truly had the simple life?
Now surely God has a simple life planned for us also. Even the terms used of the Christian life speak of simplicity. The Word of God teaches spiritual truth with such terms as talking, walking, hearing, resting, hungering, thirsting, trusting, abiding. Many of these things are so simple a baby does them a few moments after he is born and all of them by the time he is two years old. Yet when a Christian attains to these we say he is deep, or because he can speak on these things we say he is profound. Why? Simply because he is childlike enough to grasp these truths and put them into practice in his life. When Christ wanted to teach spiritual truth he placed a little child in their midst and told the people to become like him.
ARE WE CHILDLIKE?
Are we childlike and simple or has the serpent beguiled us and corrupted us from the simplicity that is in Christ? Christ has a life of simplicity for us: Let us settle it, then, that we will eat what He has provided--Elijah did. Wear what He gives--John the Baptist did. Receive with gladness and thankfulness the good things He permits us to have--David did. Walk content in the circumstances in which He has placed us--Paul did. Listen to Him speak--Mary of Bethany did. Permit Him to abide in us and fill us completely--the apostles did.
ASK, YOU SHALL RECEIVE! NO PREMIUM ON HEAD KNOWLEDGE!
If after this we still need something, we need just ask. Ask and ye shall receive. A baby doesn't even need words. He just cries and before long he is heard and gets what he needs.
Is there anything hard about any of this? God places no premium on fussing, stewing, feverish activity, head knowledge, unrest, is satisfaction which tend toward or have their roots in pride, but He always looks with favor on one indwelt by His Son who day by day walks in simplicity, singing and making melody in his heart to the Lord. May we be simple enough to do it.
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