The Eyes Of The Lord

by Tom Wacaster

Second Chronicles may be one of the most neglected of the inspired books by otherwise good Bible students. I must admit that my yearly trek through the genealogies in 1 and 2 Chronicles takes some patience. Much of what we read in the Chronicles is a repeat of the material in 1 and 2 Kings with but little difference. It is interesting, therefore, that on my journey through 2 Chronicles some years ago my eyes happened to light upon a little phrase that I had read a number of times, though only in passing. But first, some background information. It was the 36th year of the reign of Asa, king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Asa was instrumental in maintaining pure worship before God. He removed his own mother from being queen because she had made an idol unto false gods (2 Chron. 15:16). In addition, he brought into the house of God the things that his father Abijah had restored to the temple. When the 16th chapter of 2 Chronicles opens we learn that Baasha, king of the Northern Kingdom, rose up against Judah. Rather than depend upon God for protection, Asa turned to Benhadad, the king of Syria, and sought an alliance with that idolatrous nation. The union was successful and Benhadad retreated from his aggression. Asa may have won the battle, but he lost what might have otherwise been a blessing from God in the final overthrow and defeat of Syria itself. Hanani the prophet was sent to Asa: “Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thy hand” (2 Chron. 16:7). Hanani then makes this interesting statement: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect before him. Herein has thou done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars” (2 Chron. 16:9). Please note these lessons from this record.

First, God has searching eyes. Here it is said that He is looking for those “whose heart is perfect toward him” (16:9). During the last days of the southern kingdom, Jeremiah was once instructed to “run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it” (Jer. 5:1). Those must have been trying times in the nation of Israel, when a righteous man was hard to find. The northern kingdom had already been destroyed because of the absence of the “righteous few” that might have preserved that nation. Jeremiah was instructed to take an inventory and see if “a man” could be found in the streets of Jerusalem. Wickedness was rampant. For the most part Israel had become corrupt. But God would give them another opportunity. “Jeremiah, see if you can find a man!” To be sure, God already knew the answer! The question was for Jeremiah’s benefit, not God’s. The hammer of judgment was about to be lowered on the city and the nation, and God wanted Jeremiah to know that the divine judgment was justified. Oh, the searching eyes of Jehovah God. Like the prodigal son whose father must have never ceased to look, our Father in heaven keeps searching for one more soul that is “perfect toward him.”

Second, God has far reaching eyes. His eyes are said to run “to and fro throughout the whole earth” (2 Chron. 16:9).  There is no hamlet, no small village, no isolated corner of this globe that can escape the penetrating look of the eyes of God. Surely the New Testament equivalent of this Old Testament passage are expressed in the words of the Hebrews writer: “And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13). One wonders by the timing of Hanani’s statement from God whether or not Asa may have attempted to make this “league” with Benhadad in secret. Men may perpetrate and perform their crimes in the dark of night where they THINK they can escape detection. Law makers and politicians may receive a bribe “under the table” in an effort to conceal their wicked deeds. The abortion industry may succeed in hiding the horrible nature of their crimes, and the thief who breaks through and steals in the dead of night might be successful in hiding their misdeeds from men. But our God sees all, and all will answer to the Almighty for their ungodly deeds.

Third, God has urgent eyes. It is said that His eyes “run” (2 Chron. 16:9). When it comes to judgment and salvation, time is of the essence. “The King’s business requires haste” (1 Sam. 21:8). We must preach the word, “be urgent in season out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). But what it is that makes the search so urgent? It is the limited time constraint that faces each one of us. Life is but a vapor (James 4:14). There is no certainty of tomorrow. God knows this; and so His eyes are said to ‘run.’ If God’s eyes are urgently seeking those who are lost, should we not have urgent eyes as well? A world lost in sin, standing on the very brink of eternal ruin, calls for the eyes of every servant of our Lord Jesus Christ to be urgently seeking the lost.

Fourth, God has revealing eyes. God is said to “shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect” (2 Chron. 16:9). I, for one, am glad that God is a revealing God and that He WANTS to make Himself known. How grateful we should be that not only has He made “one of every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,” but that He desires that all men “should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27). Some years ago it was declared that “God is dead.” No, God is not dead. He is alive, and He has made Himself known. For those who fail to find Him, the fault is solely theirs, for God is looking for them, and He is ready and willing to show Himself to those who earnestly seek after Him (Heb. 11:6).

Finally, God has demanding eyes. While His love is unconditional, His blessings are for a limited few. He is strong in behalf of “them whose heart is perfect toward him.” The context of those words helps me understand what God means by a “heart that is perfect toward him.”  Asa failed to trust God. He doubted the power of God to fulfill the promises given. While Asa may have proven himself noteworthy by seeking to eradicate idolatry and return to true worship of Jehovah, he failed in this one area.  He failed to seek God’s advice, and then to follow it when it came to him. God demands that we bow in submission in every single aspect and area of our life. Failure to do so will be catastrophic.

May we never forget that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth, and may we live soberly in view of that wonderful truth!

Pride Comes Before A Fall

By Tom Wacaster

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  Three-hundred-fifty-three Japanese aircraft were launched from six air craft carriers. The death and destruction at Pearl Harbor wass horrific. It is still considered a day that lives in infamy. America suffered the loss of more than 2,400 lives, and casualties numbering more than 2,000. Damage and/or complete destruction was widespread. All eight of the American battleships were damaged or sunk. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. In addition, 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.  The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to America’s entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan. As news spread of the attack reporters struggled to find words to describe what had occurred: “Horrible,” “inhumane,” “barbaric,” to name just a few. Similar words were used to describe the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and/or other inhumane acts that have occurred throughout history. Even as I write these lines Europe is remembering the Holocaust and the millions who died in German concentration camps such as Auschwitz. Time and space would fail us were we to catalogue all of the horrible atrocities against the human race since the beginning of time. And in the words of an old 70’s song, “the beat goes on.” 
There is, however, something more devastating, more destructive, and which touches more lives than all of the human atrocities of the last two or three centuries. It has caused more havoc and unrest than ISIS, Nazism, or Alquida combined. I am talking about pride! Various synonyms have been used to define pride: vanity, self-exaltation, haughtiness, self-righteousness, envy, puffed up, disdainful, supercilious, boastful, pompous, self-esteem. Take your pick; they all belong to the same family, and their offspring breeds more of the same. Pride is listed with the seven deadly sins in Proverbs 6:16-19. In fact, it heads the list: “There are six things which Jehovah hateth; Yea, seven which are an abomination unto him: Haughty eyes [that’s just another word for pride, TW], a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that deviseth wicked purposes, Feet that are swift in running to mischief, A false witness that uttereth lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.” It is apparent that pride does not keep good company. No wonder Solomon gave us the following warning: “Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of a lowly spirit with the poor, Than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Pro. 16:18-19).  Let’s take a closer look.

The Origin of Pride

All pride finds its origin in Satan, for it was he who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44) and the instigator of all the evil that has poured forth as a result of the dragon’s rampage against humanity (Rev. 12:17). Paul warned that one of the qualifications of an elder is that he be “not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6). Paul was not talking about condemnation the devil would pronounce, but God’s condemnation of the devil. The devil may have been the first to exhibit pride, but he certainly was not the last. Cain was so proud that he thought his sacrifice was just as good as his brother Abel’s, and who was God to tell him different? (Gen. 4:1-8). Nadab and Abihu were of the attitude that “any old fire will do,” and their pride brought swift punishment from the Lord (Lev. 10:1-3). Don’t tell me pride is some innocent little attitude problem! It may have originated with Satan, but multitudes have learned from the original arrogant one, and have traveled in his footsteps since the beginning of time.

The Outgrowth of Pride

This will not be, yea cannot be, an exhaustive list, for the simple reason that the damage caused by pride is carried out in almost every other form of sin imaginable to man. Pride is never the final step, but it is rather a springboard, launching the unsuspecting soul into complete degradation and destruction. Pride isolates men from God, insulates the individual from his own faults, and incarcerates a man in a prison house of darkness and despair.

First, pride will lead men into all manner of fleshly abominations. In Ezekiel 16 the prophet addressed the abominations of Jerusalem (Ezek. 16:1). The holy city was utterly unfaithful. So degraded had the nation of Judah become that God compared them to the wicked cities on the plains: “As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters” (Ezek. 16:48). The root cause is given in the very next verse: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” (Ezek. 16:49). Look across our land today. Homosexuality, immorality, fornication, over-indulgence! I can say without fear of contradiction that America is puffed up, haughty, and arrogant. This is precisely why she is now struggling for her very existence.

Second, pride brings strife and contention. “By pride cometh only contention; But with the well-advised is wisdom” (Pro. 13:10). Show me a congregation embroiled in strife and contention and I’ll show you where at least one, and perhaps many more, of its members is puffed up. Pride is the problem.

Third, pride will prevent growth and stunt spirituality, both individually and congregationally. “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him” (Pro. 26:12). The church at Corinth faced the same problem: “Now some are puffed up” (1 Cor. 4:18). “Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other” (1 Cor. 4:6). The church at Corinth was the epitome of division and strife, so much so that Paul placed that sin at the head of the list in his first epistle to this congregation (1 Cor. 1:10-13). If you want to see what pride will do to a congregation’s unity, look at the church at Corinth.

Fourth, pride will bring spiritual and moral decay. Israel of old is an example of this. God had a “controversy with the inhabitants of the land” (Hosea 4:1). Her problem? “There is no truth, nor goodness, nor knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 1:2). Ephraim was like a “cake not turned,” scorched on one side, uncooked on the other (Hosea 4:8). So rotten had the nation become that God described her as a sick and decaying nation: “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and fresh stripes: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil” (Isaiah 1:6). The KJV has “putrifying sores” for “wounds.” What was wrong with that once glorious nation? “And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this” (Hosea 7:10).

The Outcome of Pride

There is not a single blessing in all the Bible pronounced upon a man filled with pride. Pride promises but never delivers. Like any other sin, it will take you where you do not want to go, and cost you more than you want to pay. If unchecked, un-repented, and un-renounced, it will lead to one’s fall and eternal loss. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). Destruction follows pride as sure as night follows day. It is a one way street that leads to apostasy. Destruction and punishment are all that await the proud. “Jehovah will root up the house of the proud; But he will establish the border of the widow” (Prov. 15:25). The proud will be brought low: “A man's pride shall bring him low; But he that is of a lowly spirit shall obtain honor” (Prov. 29:23). Don’t be deceived, beloved. Pride will be your downfall.


Several years ago Ray Stevens took a humorous jab at pride in his popular song, The Grand Oder of the Alla Babba Temple of the Shrine.” Majestic words and phrases abound throughout the song. We hear of the “Grand Master,” and the “Noble Lumpkin.” The ongoing conversation between “The Illustrious Potentate” and “Bubba” make me laugh every time I listen to the song. Stevens’ satire is quite comical, and I must admit, entertaining. The song ends with Bubba embarrassing the entire Hay Hira delegation, and in a comical way, the fruits of pride are shown to be what they are. We must not forget, however, that pride is a sin that poses a serious threat to every child of God. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:6).

Growing Older

by Tom Wacaster
(originally written in 2009, and adapted here)

A news item a few years ago pointed out that Americans spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 billion on beauty aids every year. A large portion of these beauty aids are designed to specifically target signs of aging. Unfortunately, our modern society glorifies youth and age is something you try to hide. A separate item pointed out that female Hollywood actors can pretty well expect to be out of a job at about age 40. Hollywood is not the only industry that ignores the talents and skills of the elderly. I once read that when Ty Cobb was 70, a reporter asked him, “What do you think you’d hit if you were playing these days?” Cobb, who was a life-time .367 hitter, said, “About .290, maybe .300.” The reporter said, “That’s because of the travel, the night games, the artificial turf, and all the new pitches like the slider, right?”  “No,” said Cobb, “it’s because I’m 70.” There is a certain fearful expectation of growing old. It frightens us. Perhaps that is why David prayed, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails” (Psa. 71:9). Jonathan Swift put it like this: “Every man desires to live long, but no man wants to be old.” With old age comes a number of infirmities. Heath fails, the mind becomes forgetful, and our life in general slows down, either voluntarily or of necessity. How should the Christian view the aging process? And what should be our attitude toward those who have attained unto three-score years of age and beyond? When God gave Israel her law, one of the things the Almighty stressed was respect for the aged: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man” (Lev. 19:32). “The hoary head is a crown of glory; It shall be found in the way of righteousness.” (Pro. 16:32). “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” (Pro. 20:29, KJV). Seeing that I originally wrote this article while doing mission work in Kathmandu, Nepal, I found the following item somewhat interesting:

When ABC’s 20/20 co-host, Hugh Downs visited Nepal, he discovered it is “polite” to ask a person’s age and to call someone old is a compliment in Nepal. Someone in their mid fifties typically seems embarrassed about their immature age, but they are usually comforted if the inquirer encouragingly says, “Don’t feel bad, you’re getting there.” In Nepal they take heed to Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor.”

In January 2014 I made my first trip to the Philippines to preach God’s word. Like their neighbor across the Indian Ocean, the Philippines have great respect for those who have reached the point in their life where there are more years behind them than before them. There are certain social benefits that go with getting older. But most of all, there seems to be a deep respect on the part those who are younger for the older people in their society.

As we grow older there is the great danger that we consider ourselves no longer useful to the church or society. Let us never forget that Noah was six hundred years old before God called him to be the preserver of the human race. Moses was eighty before he returned to Egypt to lead Israel out of bondage. History has shown us that many an artist, poet, or composer was just reaching their apex in life in their sixties, seventies, and even their eighties or nineties. There are too many godly men and women who, upon retirement from their lifelong careers, retire from the Lord’s work as well. God did not tell us to remain faithful until we retire, but “unto death” (Rev. 2:10).  

We need you now more than ever. Your energy may not be what it used to be, and your thinking process may be a little slower. But, as one aptly stated, “It is true that youth is faster, but it is also true that age is more accurate.”  Please, do not become idle. Do not give in to the “rocking chair syndrome.” My generation needs your wisdom to help us through many of the same struggles you faced when you were our age. Meanwhile, “Thank You” for showing us the way. Only eternity will reveal the good that so many of you have done in the sunset years of your life. For those who keep on keeping on in spite of your aches and pains; for those who have set an example for us in faithful attendance and godly living; for those who continue to tell others the sweet, sweet story of Jesus even if those to whom you speak think your words are the ranting of an old man or old woman.  To you we express our thanksgiving.  May your number increase!

In connection with this week’s article, brother Hugh Fulford sent me this essay, author unknown:

And Then It Is Winter

I wonder where all the years went!  I know that I lived them all.  You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.  It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But here it is, the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise.

How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember through the years seeing older people and thinking that they were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.
But here it is! My friends are retired and getting gray.  They move slower and I see in them an older person.  Some are in better shape and some are in worse shape than am I, but I see the great change-they no longer are like the ones I remember who were young and vibrant-but  like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we would be. Each day now I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore-it is mandatory!-because if I don’t on my own freewill I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did. But, at least I know that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last, that when it’s over on this earth it’s over.  A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done and things I should have done. But there are many things I am happy to have done.  It’s all in a lifetime.

If you are not yet in your winter let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long! Life goes by so quickly.  Do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not. You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of life. Live for today and say all the things that you want your friends and loved ones to remember. And hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past (and that they will forgive you for the things you should have done but didn’t).

Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.  Make it a fantastic one.