When King Amaziah of Judah challenged King Jehoash of Israel to battle, he definitely bit off more than he could chew. But it appears this was a common practice of Amaziah; he had a habit of acting without fully thinking through the situation.
Amaziah had taken over the throne of Judah after his father was assassinated by his own officials (2Ki. 12:19-21).
– The Execution of His Father’s Assassins (2Chron. 25:3,4)
Amaziah’s first act was to kill those who had assassinated his father.
– The Evaluation of Amaziah’s Behavior (2Chron. 25:1,2)
He appears to have started out strong, the Bible describes him as “doing right in the eyes of the Lord” (2Ki. 14:1-3). But his commitment was not wholehearted, because he allowed the pagan shrines to remain in the land.
– The Encounter with the Edomite Army (2Chron. 25:5-13)
Maybe in a rush to amass enough troops to fight Edom, Amaziah rashly hired mercenaries from Israel to add to the troops that would come from Judah. When a prophet warned him not to use mercenaries from Israel to fight the battle, he simply dismissed the prophet and headed for war with Edom. In the meantime, the mercenaries, no doubt angry that they would not share in any spoils of victory, attacked several Judean towns.
– The Errors of Amaziah’s Reign (2Chron. 25:14-24)
* His Paganism (v.14-16)
Amaziah defeated the Edomites, but he also brought back their gods and worshiped them.
* His Pride (v.117-20)
The battle victory must have gone to his head, too, because he soon challenged King Jehoash of Israel to battle. Despite Jehoash’s warnings, Amaziah would not back down.
* His Punishment (v.21-24)
Jehoash thoroughly defeated him… even destroying part of Jerusalem’s wall and looting the temple (2Ki. 14:8-14).
– The End of Amaziah’s Life (2CXhron. 25:25-28)
In the end, Amaziah was assassinated by his own people from Jerusalem, just as his father had been (2Ki. 14:18-20).
The pattern surrounding Amaziah’s life affirms that hoping to obey God without heartfelt motivation is wishful thinking at best.
Unfortunately, we all do a little wishing now and then.
Do you often know what the right thing is… but sometimes resent having to do it?
Life with Jesus should be so much more than a series of duties and obligations. And it can be! Let God transform you from the inside out.
* Integrity is obedience from the heart.
You can read Amaziah’s story in 2Kings 14:1-23; 2Chronicles 25.