Yet Not with a Whole Heart

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: II Chronicles 25:1-16


I.         Amaziah was the son of Joash.

            A.        His father started reigning at an extremely young age because his grandmother had killed all the heirs to the throne of David, except him. - II Chronicle 22:10-12

                        1.         She was eventually killed and Joash was placed on the throne.

                        2.         While Jehoiada, the high priest and his uncle, lived Joash was a good king

                        3.         But after Jehoiada died, Joash began following bad advice - II Chronicles 24:17-22

                        4.         Eventually he was assassinated by his servants - II Chronicles 24:23-25

            B.        When Amaziah became king, he had a reputation of doing what was right, but not because he was dedicated to the Lord - II Chronicles 25:2

                        1.         He was too much like his father - II Kings 14:3

                        2.         One early problem was that he didn’t do anything about the idolatry in his country that his father allowed in - II Kings 14:4

            C.        He was a just king. He killed his father’s murderers, but did not take revenge on their families - II Chronicles 25:3-4

II.        It appears that Amaziah was eager for war

            A.        King David had conquered Edom and made it subject to Israel - II Samuel 8:13-14

            B.        But in Amaziah’s great-grandfather, Jehoram’s, day Edom revolted - II Chronicles 21:8-10

            C.        It appears Amaziah wanted the territory back. He took a census and found he had 300,000 warriors to call upon - II Chronicles 25:5

                        1.         But not trusting in this number, he also hired 100,000 mercenaries from northern Israel - II Chronicles 25:6

                        2.         But a prophet came and told him not to use these men - II Chronicles 25:7

                        3.         Instead, God told him He would give Edom to Amaziah without these extra men - II Chronicles 25:8

            D.        When Amaziah pointed out that he already paid 100 talents for these men, the prophet told them that he would get the money back and more from God - II Chronicles 25:9-10

                        1.         Isn’t that what many of us do? We make a bad choice or a bad investment, rather than stopping, we convince ourselves that we already spent “good” money on this, so we might as well use it.

                        2.         Amaziah forgot, as we do, the proverb - Proverbs 10:22

                        3.         We tend to look too much on the short-term sacrifice than on the long-term gain.

                                    a.         The investor purchases stock in a company, realizes it is losing money, but holds on thinking he can’t sell it now at a loss.

                                    b.         The smoker knows he should quit, but he already spent the money on this pack, so he might as well use it up and then quit.

                                    c.         Continuing with something bad doesn’t make it become good.

                        4.         Amaziah’s hesitancy shows us that he listens to God, but he isn’t giving his whole heart in commitment to God.

            E.        So he dismissed the men, but they took offense - II Chronicles 25:10

                        1.         While they got paid and did not go to battle, still they missed the opportunity to gain from the spoils of war. And they probably saw it as an insult that they weren’t good enough to be in this battle.

                        2.         As they went back, they looted towns of Judah - II Chronicles 25:13

            F.        Meanwhile, Amaziah goes to war against Edom. Kills 10,000 in battle and another 10,000 captives are killed - II Chronicles 25:11-12

III.       But then Amaziah takes Edom’s gods, brings them back to Judah and begins worshiping them! - II Chronicles 25:14

            A.        What could possibly have been going through his head?

                        1.         God gave him the victory when he did as God directed. But he replaces God with idols!

                        2.         Like other idolaters, he doesn’t think - Isaiah 44:19

                        3.         Worse, if these idols were so great, why did Edom lose?

                                    a.         At least there is small reason when Ahaz worshiped the gods of the country that defeated him - II Chronicles 28:23

            B.        As one commentator, Matthew Henry, noted, it would have made more sense for Amaziah to cast the idols off the cliff and give mercy to the prisoners than for what he did.

            C.        The only thing I can think of is possibly Amaziah is angry with God for allowing his country to be pillaged while he was off fighting Edom

                        1.         Isn’t that what many do? They’ll follow God while things go their way, but they are quick to blame God when things go bad.

            D.        God, rightly furious, sends a prophet to rebuke Amaziah - II Chronicles 25:15

            E.        But Amaziah doesn’t offer any excuse - II Chronicles 25:16

                        1.         He attacks the prophet by asking who made him the king’s advisor

                                    a.         Yet Amaziah was willing to listen earlier when he thought he would gain from God’s advice.

                        2.         He doesn’t want to hear what God has to say

                        3.         He is both ungrateful and foolish

                        4.         He threatens to kill the prophet. This is what his father did to a prophet he didn’t wish to listen to - II Chronicles 24:20-21

                        5.         But the prophet still gives the last word - Proverbs 29:1

                        6.         In other words, in his pride he foolishly rejects the advice of a man come to rescue him from God’s anger. Which do you think the more foolish act?

IV.      Amaziah returns to take on Israel for what they had done - II Chronicles 25:17-19

            A.        God made sure that Amaziah was too prideful to listen. The king took advice to challenge Israel. - II Chronicles 25:20

                        1.         It is what happened to Pharaoh - Romans 9:17-23

                        2.         It is what happens to most who turn against God - Proverbs 16:18

            B.        Amaziah was defeated and captured in battle. Jerusalem was plundered. - II Chronicles 25:21-24

            C.        God offered him wealth, but he turned against God and lost even what he had - Proverbs 29:23

            D.        Fifteen years later, never turning back to God, he was killed by his own people - II Chronicles 25:27

                        1.         His father was killed quietly by two disgusted servants.

                        2.         Amaziah was pursued publicly by his own unhappy people and killed.

V.        Half-hearted service doesn’t keep a person devoted to the Lord

            A.        Amaziah was a fair-weather follower, so are many who claim to be Christians - James 4:8

            B.        Like Israel in the wilderness - Psalms 78:34-37

            C.        And yet the point is that God still cares - Psalms 78:38-39

                        1.         It was Amaziah who rejected God when God sent a prophet to rebuke him.

            D.        What about you?

                        1.         Are you following God only because it is convenient?

                        2.         If adversity strikes will it find turning your back on the God who loves you?

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