SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Amaziah becomes king. At first he obeys God, but begrudgingly (see verse 2).
- Amaziah prepared for war by hiring a hundred thousand extra soldiers from Israel (verse 6). A "man of God" confronts him, telling him he should put his faith in God, not in soldiers hired from another country (verses 7-8). Amaziah is upset, mostly because he will lose the money he paid the soldiers, but reluctantly dismisses the hired soldiers because it's what God wants (verses 9-10).
- When Amaziah comes home from winning the war (because God gave them victory) he rejects God and turns to worshipping idols (verses 11-16) and thereafter we see him taking very unwise courses of action.
- Amaziah went and soundly defeated the Edomites (verses 11-13), then worshipped their idols (verse 14)! Think about that. Amaziah is so foolish he rejects the God who gave him victory, and worships the gods of the people he conquered. It seems insanely foolish, but we can often do the same thing. We long for the money, fame, or power we see in the lives of celebrities or athletes or politicians. But we repeatedly hear stories of those same people feeling like their lives are meaningless, or going bankrupt, or even committing suicide. We have a God who gives joy and gives victory when we stay focused on him, and we should realize what this world has to offer is not better.
- It may seem odd that Amaziah turned away from God after God gave him victory, but we see this happen throughout the Bible. Often, when people experience success or prosperity, it is difficult for them to acknowledge God's hand in it. They take credit for the victory and stop seeing their need for God.
- Where do you see yourself envying the things of the world, or the achievements and rewards of the rich and famous? What is it that you envy? Pray about it, asking God to purify your desires. It also may help to memorize these verses: 1 John 2:15-17, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of Godlives forever."
- Where have you experienced some success? Do you give God credit for that success, causing you to draw closer to Him, or do you take credit, causing you to grow apart from Him? How could you do a better job of giving God credit for your victories?