2Chronicles 33: 31** A little disclaimer here…in this particular time in my life, this verse was brought to my attention for the reason of personal revelation. I do realize this verse can mean different things and can be used other than this explanation.**
I love the Old Testament. It gives us so many lessons in humanity. It also shows us the goodness, mercy, tenderness, anger, judgment and the very heart of God toward His creation.
I was reading in 2Chronicles 33 about Hezekiah, who was a righteous king, and toward the end of his reign there was a passage that jumped out at me.
Ever have that happen? You will just be reading along, and WHAM, a verse jumps out at you. There is usually a reason for that, by the way. It is to get your attention, to teach you…it’s like the Holy Spirit saying WHOA..I want to you pay attention. Stop and think about this….and so I did.
The verse was 2Chronicles 33:31
“And so in the matter of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon who were sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God left him (Hezekiah) to himself to try him, that He might know all that was in his heart.”
Just before that verse it states, “And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.” So he was doing pretty good, this Hezekiah fellow was. Pretty good. So good in fact that there were ambassadors from other countries who came to check it out. And Hezekiah showed them everything. Not particularly smart on his part, according to Isaiah, and He told him about it, too. Anyway, the thing that impressed me was the last part of the verse…..God left him (Hezekiah) to himself to try him, that he might know all that was in his (Hezekiah’s) heart.
Hmm…so God tried him? Interesting. Do you think it was so God would know what was in Hezekiah’s heart? To figure out what he might do placed in this situation? God knows the end from the beginning…so I don’t think it was to enlighten God on the character of Hezekiah, or to find out exactly what was in his heart. God already knew that. So why would God take a step back, so to speak? Why would He leave him to himself?
As I was thinking about this passage, there was a reason the Holy Spirit had me at a “WHOA, camp here a moment,” moment. It was because for several days, weeks I had been feeling disconnected so to speak. Odd, a hard feeling to explain. Not that I had left my beliefs, strayed away from God, or anything like that. It just seemed that there was no connection. My faith was still in my Savior, I hadn’t gone away from Jesus…it seems He was gone from me.
Now, I hear people say. “If you can’t feel God then it must be your fault. Because God never leaves us…so you must be the one that moved.” Well….I have a problem with that statement. And here is the reason why. God left Job…oh yes He did. Job was never out of God’s sight, but He did leave him alone to find out what he was made of….and what was in his heart. Just like He did with Hezekiah. And God will do the same with us. As He did with me. I never left God’s sight, but God did back away – to let me see what was in my heart, and what would I do in this time of not “feeling” God’s closeness. Would I chose to trust in Him, would I chose to believe in His Word? Would I continue to be faithful and walk in His ways…even though I couldn’t “feel” His presence? God left me to myself.
I learned some things in that place….not that I ever want to be there again. It was really yucky…and I, at one point, was quite whiny…and then the Holy Spirit showed me this passage of scripture. And it clicked. “OH,” I said to myself….oh, indeed. The eyes of my understanding were enlightened. It was there in that place that my heart was revealed to me…so I would know all of what was in it. Some times we may think we got it all goin’ on. Nothing wrong with me, I’m lovin’ on Jesus, reading my Bible, singin’ my little come to Jesus choruses….but. With all that, what we really need to know is; what is all that is in our heart? Caught up in doing all the right things, praying all the right things….going through the motions. What is all that is in our hearts?
And God will leave us to our selves to find that out.
It is a real “eye” opener. I had some things there, not gonna lie. Some I needed to give over to God, some I needed to ask forgiveness for, some things I didn’t even realized. All because God left me to myself to know all that is in my heart. There will be times when God will leave you to yourself. You will never be out of His sight, but He will leave you to yourself. Just like a parent who will watch over a child to see how they will figure something out, how they will react or not in a particular situation….how much they have learned. Never out of sight, just stepping back to watch and see if the practical application of knowledge takes over. Or to let the child find out that there are still some things that the parent needs to teach them…even though the child may think he knows it and has it all under control.
God does that to us…well, maybe not to you. But He did to me, and you know what? Even though it was a difficult, unpleasant time to walk through…I pray Father, if that is what it takes to show me what is in my heart, if that’s what it takes to make me more like You. Show me my heart and all that is within it.
So I can say as David did,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right, persevering,
and steadfast spirit within me.”