2 Chronicles 25:1-24 – Is This What It Has Come Down To?

Posted: October 9, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 25:1-24

Amaziah Rules in Judah

Opening Illustration/Comments

Reading this passage this morning reminds me a lot of our current President. Before I go any further, let me disclaim a few things. I am not a Democrat by party affiliation. Nor am I a registered Republican. I do however come at politics and life from a conservative point of view and mindset. As a result, the ideals of the Republican Party more closely align with my personal mindset for life than do the Democrats.

Having said that I am not like some Dems and Repubs who blindly accept whatever their party’s leader feeds them as if it is golden nuggets. I am realistic about the situation that we are in right now. The choices that we have for President in this election cycle of 2020 are pretty abysmal. The fact that the Democratic Party’s platform, in my opinion, does not align with by conservative principles and does not align with biblical principles in many areas leaves me with one realistic choice for President. Although there are multiple “third party” candidates out there, it is only the Democratic and Republican candidates that have a realistic shot at winning the election. Thus, my vote for the conservative candidate for President offered up by the Republican Party is more a vote against the Democratic platform than it is an endorsement of the current President.

The current President is an egomaniacal, bombastic bully. He is arrogant and rude. And he wins elections by making people afraid of one another and divided into us vs. them. There is no seeking unity in him. You are either against him or you are for him. To think that some people think he is this awesome President just baffles me. He is a one-trick pony with no substance and seems to believe in a torched earth approach to life. Our hitching our wagons to his train will have permanent damage to conservatism after he leaves office because he is all about him and what’s best for him and not his party.

The king here, in this passage, reminds me so much of what my opinion of our current President is. Trump is going to do whatever is best for Trump. Whatever is best for Trump is how he defines truth. Whatever works to paint himself in the best light (even if it contradicts reality) is what Trump will do. Whatever credit he can take for something positive, he will do it. Whoever he can bash to make himself look good, he will do it. The frenzy of hate and blame heaped toward him by the liberal faction of our country, much of the frenzy is caused by Trump himself. He could have accomplished much more as President if he was less about crushing his enemies and more about seeking unity and doing what is best for the country. However, with Trump, it’s all about making him look good regardless of the political cost to the conservative movement in our country in the long run.

Thus, for me, with the choice between Trump and Biden, I almost do not want to vote in protest of what we have been offered. However, that would not be the right thing to do either. We must vote. It is our civic responsibility as citizens. But I long for the days when we will have inspiring leaders that had vision for the future. I long for the days when we will have men with true Christian values running for office. I long for the day when our choices are better than Donald or Joe.

It is that idea of a leader doing whatever works to his advantage rather than following God that I thought of this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 25:1-24. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

25 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Jehoaddin[a] from Jerusalem. 2 Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.

3 When Amaziah was well established as king, he executed the officials who had assassinated his father. 4 However, he did not kill the children of the assassins, for he obeyed the command of the Lord as written by Moses in the Book of the Law: “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.”[b]

5 Then Amaziah organized the army, assigning generals and captains[c] for all Judah and Benjamin. He took a census and found that he had an army of 300,000 select troops, twenty years old and older, all trained in the use of spear and shield. 6 He also paid about 7,500 pounds[d] of silver to hire 100,000 experienced fighting men from Israel.

7 But a man of God came to him and said, “Your Majesty, do not hire troops from Israel, for the Lord is not with Israel. He will not help those people of Ephraim! 8 If you let them go with your troops into battle, you will be defeated by the enemy no matter how well you fight. God will overthrow you, for he has the power to help you or to trip you up.”

9 Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?”

The man of God replied, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this!” 10 So Amaziah discharged the hired troops and sent them back to Ephraim. This made them very angry with Judah, and they returned home in a great rage.

11 Then Amaziah summoned his courage and led his army to the Valley of Salt, where they killed 10,000 Edomite troops from Seir. 12 They captured another 10,000 and took them to the top of a cliff and threw them off, dashing them to pieces on the rocks below.

13 Meanwhile, the hired troops that Amaziah had sent home raided several of the towns of Judah between Samaria and Beth-horon. They killed 3,000 people and carried off great quantities of plunder.

14 When King Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought with him idols taken from the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down in front of them, and offered sacrifices to them! 15 This made the Lord very angry, and he sent a prophet to ask, “Why do you turn to gods who could not even save their own people from you?”

16 But the king interrupted him and said, “Since when have I made you the king’s counselor? Be quiet now before I have you killed!”

So the prophet stopped with this warning: “I know that God has determined to destroy you because you have done this and have refused to accept my counsel.”

17 After consulting with his advisers, King Amaziah of Judah sent this challenge to Israel’s king Jehoash,[e] the son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu: “Come and meet me in battle!”[f]

18 But King Jehoash of Israel replied to King Amaziah of Judah with this story: “Out in the Lebanon mountains, a thistle sent a message to a mighty cedar tree: ‘Give your daughter in marriage to my son.’ But just then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and stepped on the thistle, crushing it!

19 “You are saying, ‘I have defeated Edom,’ and you are very proud of it. But my advice is to stay at home. Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?”

20 But Amaziah refused to listen, for God was determined to destroy him for turning to the gods of Edom. 21 So King Jehoash of Israel mobilized his army against King Amaziah of Judah. The two armies drew up their battle lines at Beth-shemesh in Judah. 22 Judah was routed by the army of Israel, and its army scattered and fled for home. 23 King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s king, Amaziah son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then he brought him to Jerusalem, where he demolished 600 feet[g] of Jerusalem’s wall, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. 24 He carried off all the gold and silver and all the articles from the Temple of God that had been in the care of Obed-edom. He also seized the treasures of the royal palace, along with hostages, and then returned to Samaria.

25 King Amaziah of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash of Israel. 26 The rest of the events in Amaziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.

27 After Amaziah turned away from the Lord, there was a conspiracy against his life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But his enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. 28 They brought his body back on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Amaziah did what was right on the outside, but inside he often resented what he had to do. His obedience was, at best, half-hearted. When the promised, God’s deliverance. Amaziah first complained about the money that had been lost (2 Chronicles 25:9). And he valued military success more than God’s will. We must search our own hearts and root out any resistance to obeying God. Grudging compliance is not true obedience. Further, he seemed to follow whatever was working. Not only did he seek God’s help but he also worshiped idols after a victory. The bottom line on him is that he was very self-seeking in that he would worship whatever was going to give him an advantage. His self-seeking and self-pride led him to pick a fight with the northern kingdom whose army at the time was vastly larger than his own. Amaziah is a reminder to us that we should seek only God and seek godly counsel – even when such counsel is going to tell us things we do not want to hear.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that we, as Christ followers, must demand more from our leaders and not just blindly accept them and their selfishness because they are NOT of the other party. May we demand more of our public officials. May we see that if only non-Christian men are infesting politics than maybe it’s time to do something about it ourselves. May it’s time for us to start taking chances and running for public office at the local, state and national levels. If we need to reclaim the swamp, we need to be the candidates to replace what’s there. Instead of complaining about who is in office, maybe we should run for that office. Otherwise, our choices will continue to be between Trump-like candidates and Biden-like candidates. Otherwise, self-seeking leaders will be the ones in office. Otherwise, we get what we have to vote for. Otherwise, we are like Judah who went from a great godly king like David to a succession of self-seeking kings such as Amaziah here in this passage.

Amen and Amen.

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