Wednesday, October 19, 2016

If Only

O. T. #853  "If Only"
October 19, 2016
2 Kings 14


Chapters 14 and 15 focus on the kings of Judah. You will recall the woman who ruled Judah and her step son Joash pleased the Lord and restored the Temple. Priest Johoiada advised him most of his 40 year reign. We skipped over to Israel and now that brings us back to Judah. With so many kings mentioned, 20 in each nation of Judah and Israel, I have a chart to help me keep everything straight.

The new king is 25 year old Amaziah, who reigned 29 years. He served the Lord but not like his ancestor David. This king did not destroy the pagan shrines so the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.
What were some of Amaziah's deeds as king of Judah?
  • He killed his father's assassins, except for the children. The book of Moses instructed the children to not be killed for the crimes of their fathers. (Deut. 24:16)
  • He regained control of Edom, killing 10,000 in battle at the Valley of Salt, which was below the Dead Sea.
  • He also conquered Selah, which may have been the Nabatean capital Petra, a city carved out of the rocky cliffs. (Falwell)
  • These victories must have made Amaziah cocky, for he sent a message to the king of Israel, Jehoash, challenging him in battle.

Did Amaziah give God the credit for those two victories? I do not find it so.
Do we get the same attitude when we have a victory in our life? Or do we give God the glory for it?

I describe King Amaziah as a cocky young king.
Webster's Dictionary describes cocky as being bold, brashly self confident.
Amaziah defeated two armies. Bring it on Israel and I'll defeat you, too. That may have been his cocky attitude. This young king did not stop to consider that Israel's king was just as successful in battle as he was.

What was King Jehoash of Israel's response?
  • He sent a "thistle fable" in response.
  • Amaziah was the thistle and Jehoash was the cedar. The thistle requested the cedar to allow his daughter to marry the thistle's son. A wild animal came and stepped on the thistle, crushing it.
  • Jehoash was telling Amaziah t be content with his victory and stay home. Why stir up trouble that would only bring disaster upon him and Judah? 
Amaziah refused to listen to this advice and warning. The two armies met in battle and guess who won-Israel. I'm not surprised, are you?
So Amaziah was temporarily taken captive; Jerusalem's wall was broken; the palace and Temple had their valuable cleared out; hostages were taken to Samaria.

Amaziah was the second king of Judah to die by a conspiracy (2 Chron.25). He had fled and was killed in a city called Lachish. His son became a new king of Judah-Azariah (Uzziah).

Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

If only Amaziah had stayed home, given God the glory for his victories, he would not have been captured by Israel.

Do we have some "if only's" in our life? We can look back and see a decision or action or word was not the best for us. Do we consider advice when we receive it?


Watch out for pride.

Listen to advice.

Seek the Lord for His will.

Give Him the glory for victories experienced.

*How merciful and powerful is our God! He has sustained my sil. she was able to return home last Friday and doing fairly well considering her condition. Thank you for your prayers.

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