Recently when listening to a teaching on 2nd Chronicles, a verse caught my attention that I have apparently passed over before – actually part of a verse. Second Chronicles 12 gives God’s perspective on Rehoboam, King David’s grandson by Solomon. The verse that caught my attention was verse 14 in that chapter. It says, “And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD.” I imagine in the past I have noticed the word “seek” and this was what I meditated on or studied. But in this season of revival, praise God, He drew my attention to the fact that Rehoboam did evil because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD.
Out of curiosity, I wondered what Hebrew word “prepare” might be translated from and when it was first recorded in Scripture. I love using the hermeneutical Law of First Mention and discovering what it reveals about the scripture I am studying. The idea is to find the first time a particular word or doctrine is mentioned in Scripture. This first occurrence gives the word its most complete, and accurate meaning to not only serve as a "key" in understanding the Word's biblical concept, but to also provide a foundation for its fuller development in later parts of the Bible (netbiblestudy.com).
Using Strong’s Concordance, I found that the word translated as “prepare” in 2 Chronicles 12:14 is the Hebrew word “kun”. The word means to establish, accomplish, make firm, 2) to make ready, prepare, 3) to direct toward (moral sense), 4) to arrange, order. The first time “kun” is used in Scripture is Genesis 41:32 where Joseph is interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. God gave Pharaoh two dreams that meant the same thing so that Pharaoh understood that God was going to do what He had shown in the dream. God had established it and He was going to do it, without question, as sure as the nose on Pharaoh’s face. I find it notable that this principle of preparation or establishment was God’s work first in Scripture.
So, what’s my point? When God established, made firm, prepared, provided for, and arranged, it was a done deal. He was committed to it. It was going to happen. Likewise, we are to establish, decide to, determine to, fix our hearts to seek the LORD (Adonai, Lord the Glory, Master). It is an intentional and purposeful decision and to not do so is not good. Matthew Henry (a favorite commentator of mine) makes the observation that because Rehoboam did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord, he did not serve the Lord. Rehoboam did evil because he was never determined for that which was good. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. If we do not seek the LORD, we will not find the LORD and we will not seek the LORD unless we set our mind and heart to do so.
Need a New Testament challenge? Check out 2 Timothy 2:20-21: “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” When Jesus came the first time, God sent John the Baptist ahead of Him as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
The beauty of preparing our hearts to seek the Lord is that, in the end, as we look back over the commitment and determination (preparation) to seek Him, we realize, He has done all the work. His grace and mercy pour out in such a way that what we might mistake as something we committed to or determined to get done results in such blessings that we can’t contain them. That reluctance to spend more time in seeking God is all for no reason. You really can’t outgive God. No matter what time, gifts or resources we commit to Him, His blessing far outweigh anything we might sacrifice. It is a joy, a true joy and a marvel to prepare our hearts to seek the living God. As we do turn our hearts toward Him, He will come close to us and will make us truly ready for the people He brings our way who need Jesus. We will be ready to be used for revival.