SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Remember, if you've been reading along in the Old Testament portion (weekend) of the Verve reading plan, that what was formerly a united Israel had divided into two nations.
- Amaziah becomes kind of the nation of Judah (formerly part of united Israel). Amaziah basically does good, but doesn't quite go all the way in living for God. For instance, he, like his predecessors, does not take down the "high places" (verse 4). These were places where people were offering sacrifices to God, but where they were not supposed to.
- Amaziah seems to get too big for his britches, when he challenges "Israel" (the other nation that was formerly part of united Israel) to a battle. This is sad, as it is what are supposed to be God's people wanting to go to war with what are supposed to be God's people. Jehoash, king of Israel, tries to avert war, but is unable to convince Amaziah. Soon war erupts, and Amaziah is sorry he started anything up in the first place. Amaziah's life, which starts with such promise, ends in a bad way (verses 19-20).
- In Jeroboam (verse 23-29) we see yet another king who refuses to recognize God's authority, and uses his own authority for evil.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Amaziah got a victory under his belt against the Edomites. It led him to pridefully challenge Israel to a battle. The Bible says that, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). Pride leads to ego, which has been described as Edging God Out. When we start to think we can handle things without God's wisdom and help, we are setting ourselves up for a fall.
- The two nations that were formerly united had divided, and somehow seem to forget that they are all supposed to be God's people, even going to battle against each other. We can see this in Christians today, who are supposed to be united, but too often live divided (by denominations, or style of worship, or minor theological issues), and who sometimes will even battle against each other.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Where do you see pride creeping into your life? Are there parts of your life where you don't feel like you need God's wisdom or help, or where you ignore God's wisdom and help? If so, you are a path that leads to destruction. Confess your pride to God and ask Him to give you a humble heart.
- Do you find yourself looking down on, or in some way attacking, other Christians? How can you have a spirit, and even take action, to unite God's people rather than divide them?