By Ken Yates
I have a confession to make. Sometimes it is difficult for me to determine how to apply a passage in the OT to my life. I know that all Scriptures are profitable (2 Tim 3:16), but when I try to ask what certain passages addressed to the nation of Israel have to do with the Church, I am sometimes at a loss. I feel that in some cases I may be forcing some kind of application.
But then there are other times when the application and parallels are crystal clear. In Heb 11:6 we are told that God rewards those who seek Him. In the context the author is talking about eternal rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. God does not hide from us as His children. He wants us to seek Him. We will find Him if we do. We will be greatly rewarded in the process.
God’s Promise to Asa
Recently I was reading through the book of 2 Chronicles and found a great OT example of what Heb 11:6 teaches. Asa was the king of Judah. Idolatry was a constant problem with the Jews, both in the North (Israel) and the South (Judah). We are told that Asa was a good king and did right in the sight of God (2 Chron 14:2). In 2 Chron 15:2, we are told that God sent a prophet to Asa and old him that if he sought the Lord, he would find Him. God would reward him if he did so. Clearly, this is a great parallel with Heb 11:6.
In the verses that follow in 2 Chronicles, we see how that promise by God worked its way out in the life of Asa. In chap. 15 we see how Asa sought God. He removed idols from Judah. He restored the altar in the temple. He made sacrifices to the Lord. He convinced his people to seek the Lord. He even removed his own mother from her position of authority because she was a fanatic idol worshiper (15:16).
And how did God reward Asa for seeking after Him? God gave him peace from all his enemies (15:19). He had a successful reign as king over his people.
When Asa Quit Seeking
But in chap. 16, everything changes. Asa quit seeking the Lord. When he found himself in a bind, he sought the help of a pagan king instead of the Lord. Even though the Lord had brought him victory in battle before (16:8), he had forgotten what the Lord had done. As a result of his lack of trust in the Lord, Asa experienced wars the rest of his time as king (16:9).
This also impacted other areas of Asa’s life. He became angry at God’s prophet. He oppressed his people (16:10). When he became sick to the point of death, he would not go to the Lord for help (16:12).
When Asa sought the Lord, he was rewarded by God. When he did not seek the Lord, he experienced the opposite.
In the midst of the account of Asa’s rebellion against God, the author of 2 Chronicles adds an additional theological point. A prophet reminded Asa that God looks for those people who are committed to Him (16:9). In other words, God seeks for those who seek Him!
Seek the Lord
God wants to reward His people in whatever age they live. He wants us to seek Him. And He is seeking for people who do so. While we look for Him, He is looking for us. Asa experienced that.
And so can we. If we seek the rewards that come from being faithful to the Lord—both in this life and the one to come—we can rest assured that God will ensure that our quest is successful!
Ken Yates is the pastor of Little River Baptist Church in Jenkinsville, SC. He teaches at Bible institutes all over the world on behalf of GES.