2 Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth…
I. A MOMENTOUS DECLARATION. "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." The words teach the doctrines of:
1. The Divine omniscience; since "the eyes of the Lord" not only see to the ends of the earth, and "run to and fro throughout the earth," but are in every place at the same time.
2. The Divine vigilance; since God not merely knows all that transpires on the earth and beneath the heavens, but, as it were, lies in wait to discover opportunities for interposing on his people's behalf. Contrast with this exalted doctrine the teaching of the 'Odyssey' (17. 485): "The gods, in the likeness of strangers from far countries, put on all manner of shapes, and wander through the cities, beholding the violence and the righteousness of men."
II. A CHEERING CONSOLATION. "To show himself strong on behalf of them whose hearts are perfect towards him." The object of the Divine interposition is not so much to punish and destroy the wicked, although that is indirectly implied, as it is to rescue and succour his people.
1. In times of danger; like that of Israel at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15-30), or that of Asa on the field of Zephathah (2 Chronicles 14:12), or that of Judah when the army of Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35), or that of David when pursued by Saul (Psalm 18:17), or that of Elisha, in Dothan (2 Kings 6:17), or that of Daniel in Babylon (Daniel 6:22).
2. In seasons of affliction; such as befell the Israelites in Egypt (Exodus 2:23-25), and the Jews in Babylon (Ezra 1:1); such as overtook Jacob in Hebron (Genesis 37:34; Genesis 45:28), Job in Uz (Job 1., 2., 3., 42.), David in Jerusalem (Psalm 6:8), and the Hebrew children in Babylon (Daniel 3:25).
3. In moments of trial; which oftentimes come upon his people as they came upon Abraham (Genesis 22:11), Joseph (Genesis 38:12), David (1 Samuel 26:9), and Job (Job 2:9), and in which God's people could hardly hope to stand without Divine assistance.
III. A SEARCHING APPLICATION. Have we those perfect hearts to whom this Divine succour is promised?
1. This means not - Are we sinless? Noah was "perfect" Genesis 6:9), and yet "he drank of the wine, and was drunken" (Genesis 9:21); Job was "perfect (Job 1:1), and yet God charged him with offences which caused Job to say, Behold, I am vile" (Job 40:4); David's heart was "perfect (1 Kings 11:4), yet David was guilty of grievous sins (2 Samuel 11:4); Asa's heart also was perfect (2 Chronicles 15:17), and yet Asa went astray in the war with Baasha (ver. 2). In the New Testament the Corinthians are designated "perfect (1 Corinthians 2:6), and yet some of them were so far from sinlessness that they committed very gross offences against morality (1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:1).
2. This means - Are we sincere in our profession of religion? Where sincerity is wanting, religion is impossible. Nothing more reprehensible in itself, or more offensive to both God and man, than hypocrisy - pretending to be a servant of God when one is really a slave of Satan; to be a lover of righteousness when one is secretly a doer of unrighteousness. Scripture in both its parts pronounces woe against hypocrites (Job 8:13; Job 15:34; Matthew 23:13; Luke 11:44). - W.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
WEB: For the eyes of Yahweh run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly; for from henceforth you shall have wars."