“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chr 16:9
The KJV says, the LORD wants to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him. This puts me in mind of:
But the high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days. 2 Chr 15:17
Yes, it is the same word: the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. What is a perfect heart? The Hebrew is Strong’s H8003, shalem, from the primitive root Strong’s H7999, shalam; shin + lamed + mem. The ancient Hebrew pictographs are of the two front teeth + shepherd’s staff + water. My ancient Hebrew reference says that originally the shin was a sin, a thorn, and the picture painted was of the shepherd either drawing the sheep out of the thorns, i.e. taking from him that which was causing pain or trouble, or the shepherd surrounding the sheep with thorns, i.e. adding to him what was needed for his provision and protection. Because a shepherd surrounded the sheep fold with thorn bushes at night, in order to prevent predators from coming in among the flock.
So shalam means, taking away from, or adding to, whatever is necessary to make complete or whole. This word is also the root of shalom, the Hebrew word for peace or well being. This is why the lexicons say that “perfect” means, to be in a covenant of peace.
God made a covenant of peace with Israel at Mount Sinai (Exo 19:3-5). Israel would take YHVH for their God — they would worship Him and walk in His ways. And God would take Israel for His people — He would be their God, He would be the one who would deliver them from trouble and save them from destruction. He would be the one who would provide for their prosperity and heal their diseases.
The covenant of peace allowed God to be at peace with His people, for there to be no enmity between them!
Asa took the idols out of Judah and returned Judah to their covenant of peace. Under Asa, Judah again worshiped YHVH. So when the great army came from Egypt under Zerah, God wrought a great deliverance for Judah. They were walking in their part of the covenant of peace, and God was walking in His part of the covenant of peace. This is why it was troubling for God, that the next time Asa faced trouble, he did not rely on the LORD his God but on the king of Syria. Asa began looking to someone other than God to be his savior and deliverer!
So someone with a perfect heart toward the LORD, is someone who has taken the LORD for their God, to love Him and walk in His ways. It does not mean that person is entirely without fault (the Webster’s definition of perfect.) It is someone who understands that they have a covenant of peace with his Maker and His God, and so when they face any trouble in life, they rely on Him to deliver them and save them! In fact, God’s eyes are searching the earth to find those who will rely on Him to show Himself strong on their behalf! God wants to bare His mighty right arm for our sakes! We need to get that through our thick skulls!
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Rom 5:1-2