These words were spoken by a prophet named Hanani to Asa, king of Judah and Solomon’s great grandson, to rebuke him for forming an alliance with the king of Syria.
Israel’s King Baasha was at war with Judah and was beginning to fortify the town of Ramah, near the border of Israel and Judah, to block access to Jerusalem. Additionally, Baasha had formed an alliance with Ben-Hadad, king of Aram (Syria).
But King Asa emptied the treasuries of the temple in Jerusalem in order to bribe Ben-Hadad to break his treaty with King Baasha of Israel.
So Ben-Hadad attacked several cities in Israel and forced King Baasha to stop his work on Ramah. King Asa then disassembled Ramah and used the materials from the city to fortify his own towns to protect Jerusalem.
It’s perplexing that Asa turned to Ben-Hadad despite the fact that he had withstood a Cushite (Ethiopian) invasion by a superior army of a million men and three hundred chariots with a Judahite army of less than six hundred thousand and no chariots. But Asa had cried out to God for help when the Cushites invaded and “the Lord routed the Cushites before Asa and before Judah, and the Cushites fled” (vs. 14:12).
God even sent a prophet to King Asa to remind and reassure him of God’s favor: “So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, ‘Asa and all Judah and Benjamin, hear me. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you abandon Him, He will abandon you'” (vs. 15:2).
Now, God was unhappy with Asa’s treaty with Ben-Hadad because he had “depended on the king of Aram and…not depended on the Lord your God” (vs. 7).
So, God sent the prophet Hanani to Asa to issue a rebuke and a warning that God was all-knowing. God not only sees what is happening in all of His creation, but He sees within the hearts of people to know if they are loyal and faithful to Him.
We might call it x-ray vision. God’s “roaming eyes” not only keep watch over all His creation, but His eyes are equipped with x-ray vision to penetrate human hearts and see who completely trusts in Him.
There’s no thought or motive that we can hide from God’s “roaming eyes.” God sees what is in our hearts and we are accountable not only for our actions and behavior, but for the motives and intentions influencing our behavior.
Let God‘s x-ray vision behold in us hearts that completely trust in and depend on Him to be our strength!
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12, HCSB).