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"He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord." 2 Chronicles 12:14 NIV.
When we think of evil we think of history's despots and dictators, we think of mass murders and cannibals, and humanity twisted into psychological monsters of crime against the innocent. It is a shock to see the definition of evil in this scripture as being simply that a man "did not set his heart on seeking the Lord."
THE HEART OF EVIL
This sums up the life of an ancient king, Rehoboam who ruled the people of Judah. The Bible records the evil he did and gets to the heart of his evil; and the heart of evil was the heart of the man. It was simply that “he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.” As a descendant of Solomon; you would think he would do great things. He had the advantage of a good family, a prince’s education, wealth, and leadership but that did not spare him the title of evil. He is one of those "ifs," if he had set his heart on seeking the Lord he would not have been branded as a person of evil.
We wonder which came first; the evil or the heart that does not seek the Lord, but does it matter? The warning is very clear, whether it is not to become evil that we must seek the Lord or because it is evil if we don’t seek the Lord; either way not seeking the Lord and evil go together. We say, "OK. I have done a few bad things but I am not evil," but what does the verse quoted above say? No matter what arguments we come up with the connection remains, evil and the heart that does not seek the Lord go together.
SEEK THE LORD
Many point to a few religious duties and count the occasional performance of religion as seeking the Lord, but the condemnation of Rehoboam was his heart. We must not casually seek the Lord on a few celebrations annually. One may serve church, community, and God, teach Sunday School, give themselves to charity work, even be an ordained minister but if the heart is not set on seeking the Lord the danger of evil is ever present.
Let us seek the Lord with all our hearts.Make it a daily discipline, spend time in prayer, reflection, study of the scriptures, and become active in a faith community that honors God. Remeber the promise of the Bible "you will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
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