by Tommy Nelson
2 Chron. 12:14 “And Rehoboam did evil because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.”
From Deut. 17:16-20 a king was commanded by God to seek the Lord and to refuse gold and silver, horses and chariots, and foreign wives for trade prospects. He was to make his own copy of the Jewish law in the presence of Levitical priest (to ensure accuracy), and was commanded by God to read the law every day of his life. That was the path to success. The king was to prepare his heart to seek the Lord.
But Rehoboam did not. Maybe because his grandfather was King David and his father Solomon was the wealthiest king in all the world. His life had been very privileged. And now, as the firstborn of Solomon, he would be the fourth monarch of the nation of God. Saul, David, Solomon, Rehoboam. Like many young men and women, he may have thought that his father’s faith would be enough for him.
But in 2 Chronicles 10 and 1 Kings 12, when the nation’s leaders approached this new king and requested that he soften the hard yoke that Solomon had placed on the neck of the nation, he didn’t respond well. The elderly wise counselors of the nation said, “Be a servant to the people and they will serve you forever.” But that’s not what a man wants to hear who has not set his heart to follow the Lord. His contemporaries counseled him to turn up the heat of oppression on the nation and become even mightier than Solomon. The result was disastrous: a divided nation that never reunited.
When young men don’t set their hearts to seek God they become vulnerable to two deadly predators; their own fallen natures and the pressure of the prevailing voices of the day.
I have seen this scenario play out dozens of times in my forty-five years as a pastor. Faithful parents raise a child in the best way they know and surround them with the best influences. But the day comes when that child leaves home. The day when he must make his parents’ faith his own, when he must set his own heart to seek God. When he must, as Paul told Timothy, “Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of knowing from whom you have learned them. And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:14-15) Timothy had to make the faith of his mother and grandmother his own faith.
God has no grandchildren. He relates directly to his own as a father to his child.
Every Christian, no matter how noble his heritage, must first “set his heart to seek the Lord.”
The Bible must be his authority
Obedience must be his path
God’s glory must be his passion
Christ’s cause his ambition.
That man is ready to lead.
That man is ready to live.
Jesus said not to “lay up your treasures” on earth but rather in heaven where nothing can corrupt them. He then said something very insightful.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If the eye is good the whole body is full of light. But if the eye is bad the whole body is full of darkness.” (Matt. 6:19-22)
The “eye” means how you see and value things. If one’s eye is bad (worldly and temporal) then the whole body will walk in darkness because values determine goals, goals determine priorities, priorities determine choices, and choices determine the outcome of a life.
When the eye is good, literally “healthy”, the person sees properly with true eternal values. As a result the goals, priorities and choices will be proper. The most important thing about a young person is whether they see properly. Whether they have eternal values.
When I see a young man or woman who loves to walk with God, stand before God, serve God, learn of God and glorify God I think to myself, “their whole body is full of light.” I think about the delightful and fulfilling life they are going to have.
But when I see one with spiritual cataracts and false values, I think, “They’re going to be successful in all the wrong things!” Vanity! Bear the yoke in your youth, young man. If you don’t seek the Lord and His plan, the devil will be glad to show you his.
- Have you come to a point where you have had the “event” of presenting yourself to God as His instrument?
- What are your goals and ambitions? How will you get there? How will they fit as your life winds down to its end?
- Do you read, memorize, and meditate on your bible?