Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2 Kings 14 & 2 Chronicles 25 - Wholehearted Obedience

LINK: 2 Kings 14 & 2 Chronicles 25 
(read over the next two days)

BACKGROUND

Amaziah of Judah -2 Kings 14:1-22, 2 Chronicles 25

Reigned: 796-767 B.C. for 29 years

Character: Good mostly
He did right in the sight of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart, only the high places were not taken away. (2 Chronicles 25:1; 2 Kings 14:3-4) 
Overlap with Israel's King: Jehoash/Joash (798-782 B.C.), Jeroboam (793-753 B.C.)

Manner of Death: Murdered

Amaziah was the ninth king of Judah. His first official act was to avenge his father's murder (2 Chronicles 24:25-26, 25:3; 2 Kings 14:5), but he did not kill their sons according to Deuteronomy 24:16. 

He also trusted in idolatrous mercenaries from apostate Israel. We have seen time and time again that God's people continued to make alliances with ungodly people because they did not have faith in the Lord.

Thankfully he listened to counsel from a man of God and sent the Israelites home with their pay, trusting God to make up the loss. After military victory, Amaziah sacrificed to idols, and the anger of the LORD burned against him (2 Chronicles 25:15). His pride in defeating Edom caused him to be defeated by Jehoash (Joash) of Israel and taken prisoner. His son, Azariah (Uzziah), began to reign in Judah in 790 B.C at the age of 16. When Jehoash (Joash) of Israel died in 782 B.C., Amaziah was released and co-reigned with his son until his assassination in 767 B.C. 


Israel's King Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23-29)

Reigned: 793-753 B.C. for 41 year, co-regency with his father, Jehoash (Joash), 11 year (793-782 B.C.) 

Character: Bad. He did evil in the sight of the LORD (2 Kings 14:24). 

Overlap with Judah's King: Amaziah (796-767 B.C.), Azariah/Uzziah (790-739 B.C.)

Manner of Death: Natural

Politically, Jeroboam II was Israel's strongest king, extending Israel's boundaries close to what it was during Solomon's reign (excluding the land of Judah and Benjamin).

Jeroboam II's victories were primarily because the Syrians were weakened by the attacks of the Assyrians to their northeast under Adad-nirari III. Assyria was also weak at the time because of threats from the Urartu people in their north, internal problems, and weak rulers. The prophets Jonah, Amos, and Hosea ministered in Israel during Jeroboam II's reign and give additional insights into what was really happening in the life of Israel during that time (see Hosea 13:4-8 and Amos 6:11-14). We will start our reading in Jonah and Amos later this week. 

REFLECTION

The timeless principles from Many Aspire, Few Attain by Walt Henrichsen fit here!

Let's review the principles we have already covered. I have linked them if you are just joining and Bible Book Club and missed them:

1. Have a heart for God
2. Hate sin
3. Hunger for the Word
4. Trust God
5. Burn bridges and ships
6. Beware the road of no return
7. Avoid an independent spirit
9. Be faithful in the little things
10: Avoid the root of bitterness
11. Accept rebuke

Kings Amaziah's life helps illustrate Henrichsen's next point:
8. Be wholehearted

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a whole heart” (Chr. 25:2).

He did what was right, but one thing was lacking - his heart wasn’t right, so God couldn’t use him. Within a short time Amaziah, the man this verse refers to, was dead.

Some Christians create the impression that they are doing God and their Christian organization a favor by being around - that God Almighty is about the luckiest of the lucky to have them on His team. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Perhaps you have this attitude. God is delighted beyond words over the fact that you are His. He loves you with an everlasting love. But never deceive yourself into believing that you are doing either God or anyone else a favor by being faithful.

It is easy to be wholehearted in the things you like doing, but it’s hard to be wholehearted in the things you don’t like doing. When I moved into a Navigator home, one of my responsibilities every Saturday morning was to clean the bathroom in the master bedroom. I can remember being on my hands and knees over the toilet bowl with the cleanser and wondering to myself, “Henrichsen, what in the world are you doing here? There are millions of places you could be rather than sitting here looking inside a toilet.”

It’s hard enough to clean your own dirt, but it's even harder to clean other people’s dirt. How do you rate yourself in terms of your wholeheartedness in being a servant of God? [Note: the link at bible.org misprinted "sergeant" rather than "servant." I have the original pamphlet.] I don’t mind being a servant of Jesus Christ. In fact, I delight in it. I also don't mind you calling me a servant. You know what I do mind, though? I hate being treated like a servant.

Can you be wholehearted when people treat you like a servant of the Most High God? How about when you're treated like the servant of others? “As you do unto the least of these, you do unto me” (Matt. 25:40).

REFLECTION on Jeroboam II
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  
(Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:36, Luke 9:25)
These words of Jesus are quoted in three out of four of the gospel accounts. Sounds like something we need to chew on, doesn't it?

Jeroboam II had it all going for him on the outside. He was a strong and prosperous leader, but he was bankrupt in his soul.

I read a part of the poem, "The Deserted City" by British poet Oliver Goldsmith recently:


"Ill fares the land, to hast’ning ills a prey,

Where wealth accumulates, and men decay . . ."

This sums up Israel's situation. How about yours?

APPLICATION

Talk to God about this. Are you authentic? Is what you show on the outside the same as who you are on the inside? Too many people show a slick outside when their soul has unresolved issues. Please deal with your soul and be the same on the outside that you are on the inside. It is such a BETTER way to live!


If we confess our sins, 
He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins 
and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. 
(1 John 1:9)

PRAYER

Lord, humble us where we need to be humbled. Remove pride, idolatry, and rottenness from our lives. We want to be wholehearted followers of You. We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.
Post a Comment