The Strong Support of God
2 Chronicles 16:1-10
October 22-23, 2022
I want to begin with a question, and that's this, where does your help come from? On whom do you rely for strength? If you rely on self, that would be self-reliance. If you pull yourself up by the bootstraps, as the old saying goes, then you are self-reliant. In whom do you put your trust? Many, I think, know that the official motto of the United States is, in fact, "In God we trust." That's an official motto of the United States. That phrase was passed into law to become the official motto in the 1950s.
The origin of it goes back to the Civil War, where the union took hold of that phrase to capture their reliance on God, "In God we trust," and so it became official. In the 1950s, the joint resolution of Congress was passed, signed into law by President Eisenhower and that law required that that phrase, "In God we trust," would appear on all American currency, whether it be coin or paper.
Now here's the thing, the phrase is no longer true. The nation no longer relies on God, and in fact, great efforts have been made to remove God from all its institutions. I submit that the farther the nation removes itself from God, the weaker it will become. We are seeing this before our very eyes and there is a spiritual reason behind it because there is a great spiritual principle at work. Now, this principle applies, whether it be a person, a people, or a nation.
That principle is this, when you rely on God, you are strengthened and increased. When you turn away from God and rely on anything else as a source of strength, you become weaker. That is true for a person or a people or a nation because it's about the foundation of your trust, it's about faith, on whom do you rely? Now, that brings us this 2 Chronicles:16. The backstory is this, the nation is at this point divided. North, in ten tribes, southern, two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. The king at this time is King Asa. He is the great-grandson of Solomon.
At this point, no longer was Israel that great nation that it had once become under David and Solomon. They were a world power, literally, as the nations around them brought tribute in recognition of the strength of that nation that had relied on God. From that high point under David and Solomon, their downfall began shortly after they reached that pinnacle of strength. Solomon, as we were looking at the story, built that temple there in Jerusalem. That temple was built to honor God and it was like one of the wonders of the world.
It was what Solomon also built that became the problem. Yes, he had built a great temple, but he also built these altars to the gods of his foreign wives, meaning, you know the story, he collected all of these foreign wives and his heart was drawn to them in love and it caused his heart to fall away from the Lord. He built these altars to these gods. The result is predictable because there's a great spiritual principle at work. Solomon no longer relied on God's help or God's strength, so the nation became weaker.
Now, that brings us to 2 Chronicles:16, Solomon's great-grandson, Asa, was king of Israel there in the south. Now, it tells us that at first he did good and right in the sight of the Lord, He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, God of their Fathers, to observe God's law and commandments, and the result was good. God blessed them and gave them rest on every side and they prospered because there's this spiritual principle behind it. Asa even built an army of more than 500,000, bearing shields and spears.
Now, we read about this in the chapters leading up, at one point, the king of Ethiopia, now that's in North Africa, the king of Ethiopia came out against them with an army of a million fighting men. This is just epic in proportion. Asa, of course, is going to draw his army out to meet them. When they go up in battle for nation, Asa called out to the Lord his God for help, and his prayer is very famous. Listen to the words, I'll just give you some of it. He says, "Help us, oh Lord our God, for In God we trust, and in your Name we have come against this great multitude. Oh Lord, you are our God. Let not man prevail against you."
Now, that's a great prayer, a declaration of their trust and their reliance upon God. It tells us that the Lord routed the Ethiopians. In other words, the Lord's strong support was with them before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled before them, then Israel carried away a great plunder and returned to Jerusalem.
Now, as they were returning to Jerusalem, the Spirit of God came upon a prophet who came out to meet Asa and gave a word to him from the Lord. It was a great word, and that word was this, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin, the Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you, but as for you, be strong, do not lose courage for there is great reward for you in this." These words were so encouraging to Asa that it caused him to draw together all the people thereof Judah and Benjamin to renew their commitment to the Lord.
How right is this? "We're going to recommit ourselves to the Lord," to seek the Lord with all their heart. It tells us not only the people of Judah and Benjamin, but all the people who had come from the north, they defected the kingdom in the north because they saw what God was doing in the south. God brought these great-- This great multitude from the north came. God always has a remnant. Great part of the story. That brings us to the spiritual lessons from 2 Chronicles:16. Asa had done well; I gave you the backstory. He had done very, very well. He had relied on God to help against the vast army that had come against him.
Now in chapter 16, another army comes against them, but it's not the vast army that he faced before, it's the army from the north the king of Israel comes out. Instead of relying on God, he comes up with his own clever plan, and it is a clever plan. His plan is to buy his way out of this thing by sending money, silver, and gold to the king of Aram, which is just north up there in Israel. "Let's make a treaty, I'll pay you, I'll pay you very well." That's part of the story.
As a result of that move, that decision to come up with his own clever plan and to do it, God sent a prophet by the name of Hanani to Asa, king of Judah, with a word from God. That word which God sent contains one of the greatest verses in the Bible. It has become, for me, like a life verse. Do you have life verses? Do you know what I'm talking about? Verses that mean so much to you that you take hold of them as a theme of your life. Life verse.
I. The Eyes of the Lord are Searching
Well, there's a life verse here for me in this chapter, and it's this. It's a principle that, again, the prophet is speaking to the king. "The eyes of the Lord range to and fro throughout the whole earth in order to show Himself strong in behalf or to strongly support those whose heart is completely His." Now let's read the story. We are in 2 Chronicles 16:1, "In the 36th year, the Asa's reign, Baasha, king of Israel, came up against Judah and fortified Ramah," this city, fortified it, "In order to prevent anyone from going out or coming into Asa, king of Judah." It's like a blockade, you might say, he's building it up for that purpose.
"Now, Asa then--" here's his clever plan. He's coming up with his plan all on his own. "Asa then brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and from the King's house and he sent them to Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, very same city as Damascus, Syria today. He sent a message to Ben-Hadad there in Damascus saying this, "Let there be a treaty between you and me as between my father and your father. Behold, look, I send you money, silver, and gold. Go break your treaty with Baasha, king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me. I'll pay you better. I'll send you more. Break that treaty." Ben-Hadad did it.
Ben-Hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his army against the cities of Israel and then conquered Ijon and Dan and Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. Now it came about that when Baasha heard of this, that he ceased fortifying Ramah. He, in other words, stopped the idea of coming against and blockading and stopped that work. King Asa brought all Judah and it carried away the stones of Ramah and its timbers with which Baasha had been building. With them, he fortified his cities of Geba and Mizpah.
Now, at that time, Hanani the seer or the prophet came to Asa, king of Judah, and said to him this, "Because you have relied on the king of Aram and you did not rely on Jehovah, Yahweh, the Lord your God, therefore, the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. God was going to do a great thing. He was going to give you victory of the north and even over Aram, but now he's escaped out of your hand. We're not the Ethiopians and the Lubim and immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand."
Then comes that famous verse, that principle, "Do you not know the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth then He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have done foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will have wars. You've acted foolishly in this. Asa was angry with that seer, with that prophet and put him in prison." Talk about shooting the messenger. Why you're angry, you're the one who messed it up. He was enraged at him for this. Asa even oppressed some of the people. He was so in turmoil and anguish. He didn't like being confronted, he didn't like a word like that. He got angry. Great principles here.
These are the verses that we're going to look at today. We'll look, of course, at the verses around this at the Wednesday verse-by-verse service. I want us to look at this, particularly verse nine, great principles here out of this very famous verse. Starting with this, "The eyes of the Lord are searching. God is looking for those He can strongly support." God wants to strongly support, to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose heart is completely His.
A. God searches for those who will believe
In other words, God is looking for those who trust and rely on Him for help and support. In other words, God searches for those who will believe. God wants to show Himself strong. God is looking for those in whom He can show Himself strong to strongly support those who rely, whose heart is completely His. Now, reminds me, later on in the history of Israel when the king of Assyria grows strong and comes against Israel there in Jerusalem, that Hezekiah was king. The commander of the Australian Army sent a message to him saying, "What is this confidence you have? What is this? on whom do you rely that you have such confidence like that?" I just love that question.
Wouldn't it be great if people said that about you? "What is this about you? What is this confidence that you have? What is this thing that you have in your life? What is this confidence?" He says, "Look, when a vast army of more than a million came out against Asa, he cried after God. Why? Because it was clear he was outgunned and outmanned. If God didn't help, there would be no help.
In other words, many cry out to God when they're out of options as if God was the last option to choose. Well, we're out of options, so I guess we'll turn to God now because we're out of options. The point of the story is God ought not to be the last option, God ought to be the first and foremost option. That's the whole point of the story. On whom do you rely? On whom do you trust? On whom do you look?
When Baasha, king of Israel in the north, came against Asa, he thought he could figure this thing out all in his own. Well, this is not nearly the trouble that that million army was. "I can figure this out. I don't need God's help." He was very clever in his plan. "I'll buy my way out of this thing. I'll send money up there and we'll make this treaty thing and he'll break that treaty." Very clever plan. He's going to figure it out on his own.
I'll tell you, I have been in ministry many, many years. I cannot tell you how many times people have said to me-- they mess up, they do something, they get into some great trouble and you want to speak into it and they resist. "Look, I just got to figure this thing out on my own." Oh, how many times have I heard that? My answer's always the same, "No, you won't figure this thing out on your own. It's you figuring things out on your own that got you into this trouble in the first place. What we need is the help of God. You need to rely on God."
Here's the thing that's very interesting in the story. Comes up with a clever plan. Sends this message with the treaty, king of the north, Ben-Hadad, listens and attacks Israel from the north so that Israel withdraws, which is to say it worked. Did it work? By all appearances didn't look like it worked. That brings out a very important spiritual principle. Write this down. This is such a very important principle. Write this down, and don't write it on paper, get a stone and a chisel. Write this down, "One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to do the wrong thing and win. One of the worst things that could ever happen is to win when you've done the wrong thing."
Reminds me many years ago, a fellow came up to me and he asked me for advice. He was about to make a business decision. It was an investment thing. He knows I've got a background in business and thought, "Would you look at this and tell me what you think?" I said, "Sure." I looked at it and I said, "No, this is not good. I cannot recommend this at all. I don't think this is good. There are spiritual reasons and there are business reasons. I don't believe you should do it." "Okay, thank you for that."
A couple months later, I ran into him and I said, "Hey, follow up, what happened on that thing?" He said, "Well, interesting, I went ahead and did it." "You did?" He said, "I went ahead and did it and it worked." So I said, spiritual principle, one of the worst things that can happen to a person is to do the wrong thing and win. It was still the wrong thing. Even if it worked, it was still the wrong thing. I don't know, six months, eight months, whatever, later, I saw him again. He came up to me, he says, "Follow up. It crashed. It all fell apart. I lost all of it."
There is a spiritual principle. What he discovered was that his own clever plan was far less than God's plan. God intended to give him the army of the king of Aram to him as well as a victory over the north. Now Asa is making a treaty with the very one that God wanted him to defeat. It's far less. In other words, our clever plans are so often far less than what God desires to do in our lives. Have you seen it? Our plans are far less than what God-- I'll tell you, I am so thankful that God has overridden some of my plans.
I can give you many stories. We don't have time, but one of them is this, when I first came to the Lord, I was 11, and it was really a very powerful, moving moment for me and I just felt so strongly called to become a pastor. I dismissed it. I figured that happens everybody. When that person first comes to the Lord, they're so excited, they got so much zeal. Of course, everybody wants to be a pastor. That's the way I thought and so I dismissed it, but it was always there.
I was in the restaurant business and studied business management at the university, and so I thought that was going to be my life, but it was always there. An opportunity arose when I was in the restaurant business for church, they needed a youth leader, and so I'm a volunteer youth person and that worked into an opportunity to become a pastor or to go to school to become a pastor. God miraculously-- Oh, it's a long story, but He miraculously provided. Now I'm going to Bible College and I'm studying to be a pastor.
Then one day at Chapel, a missionary comes and speaks and I get so excited about what he's doing in missions that I decided I'm going to be a missionary. I got so inspired. What happened was this, he was the captain of a mercy ship. They would go from port to port to port doing all these works of mercy, and they needed a Bible teacher who would, of course, teach the Bible along the way to those who would come on, and the staff and all that, "Oh, that's perfect. I'm studying the Bible. Oh, that's for me."
I asked him it for a meeting and we had lunch and I'm explaining who I am and I'm excited now to be on-- I've always had this romantic idea of being on the ocean and always love the ocean, and so we talk. He listens to my whole story. At the end of it, he says, "No, we don't want you." "What? We're talking about me here. What do you mean you?" He said, "Look, no disrespect. I think you're doing great things, but I don't think you're called to this. I think you're called to be a pastor and you're not called to being a missionary, so no, we don't want you. I think you will do more for missions as a pastor than you can ever do for missions as a missionary. No, the answer is no."
As it turns out, I get seasick just looking at the ocean, it would have been a disaster, complete, unmitigated disaster. Oh, God, thank you for overriding my plan." Proverbs 19:21, "Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand." Jeremiah 29:11, very famous, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans for welfare," which means good. I'm going to-- I have plans for you. I have plans for your life. I know the plans I have for you and they're plans for welfare, for good, and not for calamity, to give you a future, to give you a hope.
B. God is seeking those who seek Him
Notice this in the story, God is seeking those who seek Him. If you seek Him, that Prophet said earlier, if you seek Him, He will let you find Him. God is seeking those who seek Him. He's speaking of the seeking heart. There is in the soul of man a great searching, a great longing in the human soul because there's something missing. People are looking for love, they're looking for significance, they're looking for meaning in life, they're looking for fulfilment. The problem is they're looking in all the wrong places. There's nothing out there in the world that will satisfy the desire for significance, for meaning of life, for the fulfilment of the souls desire.
There's nothing out there that will satisfy the souls searching, the souls desire, for the world appeals to the flesh, God satisfies the soul. God put that seeking, searching heart in the human soul so that it might find Him, that they might find their greatest desire is satisfied in Him and Him alone. Interestingly, when I was studying at the secular university, Oregon State, of course, later on, as you know, I got a wonderful opportunity and God provided that I could go to Bible College and then study at seminary.
When I was at the university, I took classes in psychology. They have an interesting phrase in psychology to describe a person who has reached their highest point of psychological development, and that is called self-actualization. This is supposed to be the highest level of psychological development according to secular studies. Self-actualization is described as self-fulfillment, I'm just quoting here, "Mainly when an individual becomes actualized in what he is potentially."
In other words, he actually reaches his potential, the highest point of psychological development. Unfortunately, psychologists admit self-actualization rarely happens. We really don't know anybody who's done it, but that is the picture of the psychological highest point. I submit that self-actualization never happens. You know why? Because self-actualization and self-fulfillment contain the word self, and there's the problem right there.
Self-fulfilment by definition means full of oneself. I submit that is a problem because God made the soul to be far greater than that. That's very limited if that is the highest point that you believe you can achieve to self-fulfilment, fulfilment of self, full of oneself, that's the highest point. No, God made the soul far more than that, with far greater capacity than that.
2 Chronicles 15:2-4, the Spirit of God came upon Azariah. He went out to meet Asa, as I quoted, he said, "Listen to me, Asa and Judah and Benjamin, the Lord is with you when you are with Him." Then he says, "If you seek Him, He will let you find Him." When you find Him, here's the point, when you find Him, you will find much more than self-fulfilment. You will find much more than that. When you seek Him and when you find Him, you will find peace, a peace that is beyond understanding Paul wrote. You'll find a joy that comes from the very presence of the living God in your life. You will find a love by which you say, "My cup overflows," because this love that comes from the very presence of God in your soul.
When you find Him, you find much more, you find a beautiful soul that brings forth a beautiful life because you feel the pleasure of God. That is the soul's greatest desire. You feel the pleasure of God and you find pleasure in Him. The greatest aspect of the human soul. I tell you, so many people, they misunderstand Christianity, "Oh, it's just a bunch of rules, it's just a bunch of dos and don'ts," to which I say, "You have no idea of what you speak because God has so much more in store than just a bunch of rules."
You know what God has for you? A beautiful soul that His presence brings about in your life, that you would find pleasure in God and God will find pleasure in you, that your soul would be made full. God will increase your capacity that you will always seek, always continue to move in greater and greater capacity of the soul.
David understood this. In fact, he wrote in 1 Chronicles 28:4, he said, "God took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel." He said this in Solomon, "God took pleasure in me." How about 2 Corinthians, there's a New Testament verse, 5:7-9, "We walk by faith and not by sight. Therefore, we have as our ambition to be pleasing to Him. The heart that is completely His is the heart that keeps sinking, and when you find Him, oh, you find joy, peace, a soul is made beautiful."
II. God Shows Himself Strong
2 Chronicles 15, "Asa hearing that, they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, God of the fathers, with all their hearts, with all their soul." Back to 2 Chronicles 16. Then what we see is that God desires to show Himself strong. "God will strongly support those whose heart is completely His." Notice there's two parts to that. God wants to strongly support, He's looking for those He can strongly support. He's looking for those whose heart is completely His.
Now, that word completely His is a very important word in the Hebrew, and it doesn't translate as well with the word completely. We know that word, the root of it is shalom, and this is the word Salem. It's the root of it and it's a great word. We know that Shalom means peace, but it's much more than peace. It's the soul that is peaceably filled with a wholeness of God.
It's a beautiful picture of a soul that's made right. In fact, Jews today will greet each other with that very word shalom. They wish for you a peaceable wholeness of your soul in that relationship, that you find pleasure in God and God finds pleasure in you. That's a beautiful picture right there, much more than self-fulfillment. David wrote in Psalm 16:11, "You have shown me, oh Lord, the path of life, and in your presence is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." He's describing a beautiful relationship to God, where God finds pleasure in you and you find pleasure in Him.
That's why worship is so powerful. Worship is so powerful because you are dwelling in the presence of the almighty and your soul is made full of joy and life. You're finding pleasure in God and God is finding pleasure in you. He inhabits the praises of His people. It's a glorious, wonderful moment when the church worships because it's discovering the presence of God is the joy of the soul.
I submit that we weren't born with a soul like that. That's a beautiful picture of a soul, finds pleasure in God and God finds pleasure in you. You weren't born like that, but here's the good news, hearts can be changed. God shows Himself strong. He's looking for those in whom He can show Himself strong, in whom He can strongly support, those whose heart is shalom, Salem, completely His.
A. Hearts can be changed
People are not born with a heart like that. People are born with a heart like this. Jeremiah 17:9-10, Jeremiah is describing here the condition in which man is born. He says, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick." That's the condition of man right there. That is a very powerful description. The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick. Who can know this? Who can understand this? God is speaking, "I the Lord search the heart and test the mind and give to each man according to his ways" Now, that's a biblical quote, biblical understanding of the condition in which man was born.
I'm going to give you another quote, but this is secular. It's virtually the same thing. I came upon this quote, this was-- The State of Minnesota came up with a Crime Commission. They wanted to understand the nature of the crime. They wanted to understand why criminals do what they do, and so they put together a Crime Commission. They're going to research the nature of the thing and so this was part of their report.
When I read this, I thought, "Oh, I have to copy that." That is so amazing because it describes the condition in which man was born. Here's the quote. Again, State of Minnesota Crime Commission wrote this, "Every baby starts life as a little savage." I'm just quoting. "He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants and when he wants it, his bottle, his mother's attention, or his playmate's toy. Deny him these wants and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is dirty, he has no morals, no knowledge, and no skills.
This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions to satisfy his wants, every child will grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, and a rapist. That is an amazing description of the nature of man. The good news is that hearts can be changed, eyes can be opened, hearts can be softened, hearts can be broken, stones can be removed, thorns and thistles can be uprooted, lives can be changed, heart can be changed. God is in the business of transforming lives, and he's doing it even today. Do you agree with me? Let's give it a little praise.
The question is how does that happen? I submit that it happens because something new happens in that soul. If that was the condition in which man was born, something has to change. God wants to give you a beautiful soul, a soul that finds its pleasure in God and God finds pleasure in you. Well, if that was the nature of which man was born and God wants to do this kind of work and you would have a soul like that, something has to change, and that is the work of God, doing something new for God opens eyes so that you see what you did not see before. "I didn't see that before."
When a sinner sees God for God's heart, the sinner sees that God sent His Son to seek and to save that which was lost, that God sent His Son to go and find sinners and to bring that sinner into a relationship to God and that His Son repaid the penalty of every one of the sins of that sinner and then adopt them as a son and as a daughter and to bring about a relationship to the living God by which the soul can be transformed so much so that God would find pleasure in you and you would find pleasure in God. I didn't see that before.
When your eyes are opened, something new has happened. God opens ears so that you hear what you did not hear before. God gives new desires so that you desire what you did not desire before. I didn't know that the soul could be made alive like that. I didn't know that a person can have a relationship to God like that. Now I want that, I desire that. There is something greater for me in this life than the condition in which I was born.
God is doing new work, something new happens. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things pass away, behold, new things have come." These things, these new things, these are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ. Everything that God does in your life that is new is because of that reconciliation of that relationship between you and God through Christ who sent His Son, God who sent His Son to seek and to save that which was lost, but then there's this, we'll close with this, strength of faith brings strength of life.
B. Strength of faith brings strength of life
God wants to show Himself strong. God wants to strongly support those whose hearts are holy His. In so doing, God will strengthen you. God will strongly support and God will bring about a strength of life. Strength of faith brings strength of life. God wants to bring a strength to your soul, a strength of life. God is showing Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are completely His, is one of the greatest promises known to man, but it's often misunderstood. Some people expect that when they call out to God, that He will move and rescue and save and it will be immediately done at the word of His command.
No. I have seen God very quickly move to rescue and save. I could give you many stories where God has very quickly moved. Call out to Him, "Oh God, help, rescue, and save." I've seen many times God very quickly move, but I've also seen God answer by walking with me on a long journey out of the trouble. I've seen that also. There is much to learn when the journey is long. When the journey is long, God is using it to strengthen you, to strengthen your heart.
David wrote this in Psalm 73:25-26, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And besides you, I desire nothing on this earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and God is my portion forever." David understood the source of strength, God will strongly support. God will move in your behalf, but He'll also strengthen you. David understood it.
Psalm 121:1-2, "I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth." David understood this. "I know my God." Once you have become strengthened in your soul, you can say, "I know my God. I know how he moves." The faith arises and the strength to the soul arises. God is your help in time of trouble. He will show Himself strong, but He will make you strong for the battle, that you might arise in the midst of the trouble, that you might arise in the midst of the turbulence and be strong in it. That's how God will rescue and save oftentimes, is by making the strength of Himself known in you and in your life. He'll both work in your behalf and He'll work in you.
Notice, for example, David wrote this, 2 Samuel 22:30, David understood this very, very well. David wrote, "By you," He says to God, "By you I can run upon a troop. By my God I can leap over a wall." Do you see what he's saying? David doesn't say, "Well, there are many troubles in life, but God fights my battles, God solves all my problems, I'll be home playing the harp." That's not what David says.
David is out there in the midst of it. David gets out there in the midst of the trouble, David gets out there in the midst of the trial, David gets out there in the midst of the tribulation. "By my God I can run upon a troop." David is out there running upon a troop. "By my God, I can leap over a wall." David is the one leaping over the wall. That's why he wrote in Psalm 27:3, "Though a host," that's a great large number, "Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear. Though war arise against me, in spite of this, I shall be confident because I know that God is my strong support. He shows Himself strong in my behalf and He strengthens the soul within me."
When David was a young lad and his father sent him to check on his older brothers who were in the Army facing against the Philistines, he came into the camp and he heard the taunts of that Philistine giant, Goliath, "Send out a man to fight if you got one." This went on day after day after day, and so David arises in the camp and he hears the taunts of this giant, "Send out a man to fight if you got one." David is incensed because nobody's arising to fight him. No one's stepping up.
Notice that David didn't say, "Oh, I see we have a great challenge here. I can see we have a great trouble here. I see this giant is taunting the armies of Israel. Well, God fights my battles. I'll be home watching the sheep." No. David in himself said, "Well, no one arise? I'll fight him." "You're just a lad." He's been in battles since he was a lad and David. David says, "I know my God. I know my God. He has already moved. I know my God." David put himself in the battle.
When he went out to face that giant, his speech told us everything we needed to know right there. That speech told us everything we needed to know about David's understanding of the strength of the soul because God is the strong support to rescue and save and God is the strength of the soul. 1st Samuel 17:46, "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand." God's going to do it, but I'm out here fighting it. "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands and I will strike you down so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel so that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by sphere, for the battle is the Lords and He will do it. He will give you into our hands."
The eyes of the Lord are searching, ranging to and fro looking to strongly support, to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are holy His. Those in whom God finds pleasure and they find pleasure in God. You've got a relationship to God like that?
Let's pray. "Father, thank you so much for revealing the greatness of who you are, that your eyes range to and fro throughout the whole earth to show yourself strong, to strongly support those whose hearts are completely in holy yards, those in whom you have found pleasure and they find pleasure in you. Where there's a beautiful soul made alive by the presence of the living God. Church, how many today would say that, "I want a soul like that"?
God, I need your hand in my life. I know that you promised to strongly support, to show yourself strong in behalf of those whose heart is holy, shalom, yours. Oh Lord, I want a soul like that. That's what I want. I want a soul like that. I want a life like that. I want strength like that. That's what I'm asking. Church, is that you? Is that your desire? Would you say that to the Lord? Will you just raise your hand to the Lord as a way of saying that to the Lord? "I want a soul like that. I want a life like that. That's what I want in my life. I want that kind of strength. I want that kind of victory. I want a soul that finds pleasure in you and that you would find pleasure in me. That's what I want."
Just raise my hand to the Lord if that's your desire. Father, thank you so much for showing us how great you are and what you would do in the soul that finds pleasure in you. Oh Lord, here we are. Meet us here. Pour out your life. We love you and honor you now. In Jesus' powerful name, and everyone said-- Can we give the Lord praise in glory and honor. Amen.