Amaziah’s Good Reign in Judah

Paul W. Powell once observed: “Pride is so subtle that if we aren’t careful we’ll be proud of our humility. When this happens our goodness becomes badness. Our virtues become vices. We can easily become like the Sunday School teacher who, having told the story o … More

Pride

Amaziah began to reign in Judah about a year after Jehoash had become king of Israel and his rule extended for 29 years. He followed his father’s example by upholding the worship of the Lord but he did not remove the high places. When he avenged the murder of his father, Joash, by executing his slayers, he showed obedience to the law by not putting to death the sons of the conspirators as was customary in that part of the world. Militarily, he extended Judah’s control into Edom once again (2 Chron. 25:6) and this gave Judah access to southern trade routes.  Second Chronicles 25:6 records the hiring of Israelite troops for this battle. However, God warned Amaziah that he would not bless this so he dismissed the troops before the battle and then God gave the victory. Enraged they returned to their homeland but left a path of looting and murder on the way. 

Riding high after his victory over Edom, Amaziah decided to challenge Israel to war. The Israelite king responded with a warning in the form of a parable comparing Judah to a thistle and Israel to a cedar. His advice that Amaziah stay home was good but Amaziah was so confident of victory that he attacked Jehoash on his own territory about l5 miles west of Jerusalem. Judah was defeated, its troops retreated and Amaziah was taken captive. Israel then proceeded to Jerusalem where they broke down 600 feet of the city wall, took gold, silver and other articles of value from the temple and palace. They also took hostages and returned to Samaria.

Application

King Amaziah of Judah was proud after defeating the Edomites and overrated his strength by attacking Israel and was defeated. Pride is subtle and will ruin us if we are not careful.

II Kings 14:1-14 (English Standard Version)

In the second year of Joash the son of Joahaz, king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not like David his father. He did in all things as Joash his father had done. But the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. And as soon as the royal power was firmly in his hand, he struck down his servants who had struck down the king his father. But he did not put to death the children of the murderers, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, where the LORD commanded, "Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. But each one shall die for his own sin." He struck down ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and took Sela by storm, and called it Joktheel, which is its name to this day. Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, "Come, let us look one another in the face." And Jehoash king of Israel sent word to Amaziah king of Judah, "A thistle on Lebanon sent to a cedar on Lebanon, saying, 'Give your daughter to my son for a wife,' and a wild beast of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thistle. You have indeed struck down Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Be content with your glory, and stay at home, for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?" But Amaziah would not listen. So Jehoash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced one another in battle at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah. And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his home. And Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh, and came to Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem for four hundred cubits, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. And he seized all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king's house, also hostages, and he returned to Samaria.

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