God’s assessment of the reign of King Amaziah

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From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 5 – God’s assessment of the faithfulness of the kings of Judah and Israel

There were three main things that caused Amaziah to go astray in the end and to abandon his faithfulness:

a) He did not fully trust in God to help him. So, he formed an alliance with the idolatrous Northern Kingdom of Israel. God did not tell him, or want him, to do that, due to the wickedness of its kings:

6 He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. 7 But a man of God came to him saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim.

2 Chronicles 25:6-7 (NASB)

b) He had a military victory over the people of Seir and, after the battle was over, he brought their false gods/idols back to Jerusalem. He then ended up getting into idolatry, bowing down to those gods and burning incense to them:

14 Now after Amaziah came from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought the gods of the sons of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down before them and burned incense to them. 15 Then the anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?” 16 As he was talking with him, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” Then the prophet stopped and said, “I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”

2 Chronicles 25:14-16 (NASB)

c) His heart became proud and over-confident because of his victories. As a result, he started an unnecessary war and also refused to listen to God’s prophets:

19 You said, ‘Behold, you have defeated Edom.’ And your heart has become proud in boasting. Now stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you, even you, would fall and Judah with you?” 20 But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand of Joash because they had sought the gods of Edom.

2 Chronicles 25:19-20 (NASB)

So, Amaziah began well, as so many of us do. His crucial failure was that but he did not keep it up. He allowed himself to slip into unfaithfulness and even idolatry and he turned away from following the Lord. That caused God to engineer his downfall, which is so sad, because if he had stayed faithful and been wholehearted he would have had God’s help. Instead, God arranged for the Northern Kingdom to bring Amaziah down and also for his own people in Jerusalem to turn against him. None of this would have happened if only he had remained faithful:

From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD they conspired against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there.

2 Chronicles 25:27 (NASB)
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