July 6: 2 Kings 14 & 2 Chronicles 25
1 In the second year of Joash the son of Joahaz, king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. 3 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not like David his father. He did in all things as Joash his father had done. 4 But the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. 5 And as soon as the royal power was firmly in his hand, he struck down his servants who had struck down the king his father. 6 But he did not put to death the children of the murderers, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, where the Lord commanded, “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. But each one shall die for his own sin.”
2 Kings 14:1-6
He mustered those twenty years old and upward, and found that they were 300,000 choice men, fit for war, able to handle spear and shield. 6 He hired also 100,000 mighty men of valor from Israel for 100 talents of silver. 7 But a man of God came to him and said, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel, with all these Ephraimites. 8 But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.” 9 And Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?” The man of God answered, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this.” 10 Then Amaziah discharged the army that had come to him from Ephraim to go home again. And they became very angry with Judah and returned home in fierce anger. 11 But Amaziah took courage and led out his people and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 men of Seir.
14 After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them. 15 Therefore the Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?” 16 But as he was speaking, the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” So the prophet stopped, but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”
25 Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. 26 Now the rest of the deeds of Amaziah, from first to last, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? 27 From the time when he turned away from the Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But they sent after him to Lachish and put him to death there.
2 Chronicles 25:5b-11, 14-16 & 25-27
When we look at an overview of the Old Testament, especially at the books of 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles, it seems to us that Israel had to keep learning the same things over and over. Why did they not learn the lessons from their forefathers? But, the same question then could be asked of us. Why do we not learn from the lessons of the people who lived in Old Testament times?
King Amaziah is a perfect example. I find it very impressive, especially coming right after the reign of his father, Joash, that he was willing to listen to the voice of the prophet. After he had hired 100,000 men of valor from Israel, he was approached by a man of God who said to him,
“O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel, with all these Ephraimites. But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.”
Though it made the men of Israel furious, Amaziah listened to the voice of the prophet and sent the men home. Just as the man of God had prophesied, God gave Amaziah a great victory over the Edomites. But then, what did Amaziah do next?
After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them.
How can it be that he so quickly turned away from the Lord, especially after the Lord had given him such a great victory. Certainly we would never be so foolish, would we?
Though he began as a good king, he ended his reign in disgrace just as his father had done. We have the same propensity to soon forget the good things that God has done in our lives, especially when our circumstances seem to change for the worse.
Though we are saved by grace, and not by works, we must remember that our entire life is a life of working for the Lord. It seems that any time we forget to trust in the Lord and begin to trust in ourselves, just as King Amaziah did, we slip away from serving the Lord.
Pray today that God would put a watch over your soul and your life, that by His grace you will faithfully love and serve Him all the days of your life.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.