amaziah was not strong

Amaziah king of Judah

Amaziah means Jehovah is strong.  He did not live up to his name.  Chronicles2 25.  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart, v 2

He was 22nd king under God’s rule and 9th king of Judah.  He was 25 when he became king and ruled for 29 (796-767 BC) years in Jerusalem.  His mother’s name was Jehoaddin from Jerusalem.

Amaziah was amazingly obedient at one time but badly contradicted himself later.  He obeyed the prophet who told him to send back all Ephraimites whom he had hired to go to war with him for quite a big price – 100 shekels of silver.

Again, as with many kings of Israel/Judah, Amaziah lapses back into idol worship and earns God’s disciplinary anger.  I really do not understand what was so attractive in the ‘gods/idols’ for him; nevertheless, he did fall into the idol worship for which the Lord sent numerous prophets to warn Israel/Judah against throughout the royal history.

Though he did not kill the prophet (as his predecessor, [Joash killed priest Jehoida’s son, prophet Zechariah without mercy] and as many other rulers did in the past), he nevertheless “silenced” the unknown prophet with death threats which is what the so called ‘peace-loving religious people’ are doing today.  25:16 “Have we appointed you an adviser to the king? Stop! Why be struck down?

His downfall came through his own prideful call for war against Israel’s king, Jehoash (in fact, Jehoash warned him about it, but Amaziah would not listen) who overthrew Amaziah and looted Jerusalem and his palace and took him captive.

But Jehoash did not kill Amaziah which was usually the fate of a defeated king.  I see God’s mercy here for him in that he did have a little place in his heart for the Lord in the past.  How true the saying of our Lord that “even a cup of water given in His name, will have it’s rewards.”

Many a times, we too are guilty of ‘silencing’ the voice of the Lord in our lives regarding our merciless, egoistic and/or prideful behaviors with our fellow believers and/or citizens.

majority is not right all the time

Does majority always win?

Is majority right all the time?

2 Chronicles 25

Amaziah wanted to partner with the king of Israel by paying money 100 shekels of silver to help him with wars.  He thought he would win the war with more people in his army.  But he had forgotten the Lord, the fountain of life as told by Jeremiah in 2:13 to a future generation,  “..for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

But Israel’s king had already rejected the Lord.  So the Lord sent a prophet to warn him not to use his army in the war against the enemies.

Indeed, he listened to the prophet and the Lord give him victory.

So, we prove again that the Lord desired His king to have no partnership with anyone that would not obey Him, making ‘his obedient king’ a minority again.  But the Lord gave him victory in the war without the help from Israel’s hired men.

Conclusion:

So, for a believer (a citizen of God’s invisible kingdom by faith in Christ Jesus who is here on this earth ‘temporarily’ for His purpose and mission), it is certainly not true.  Apostle Paul knew this fact very well and therefore he was not ashamed to say, “not from men nor through man” in Galatians 1:1.

In the history of the nation Israel, after Saul and Samuel, the majority of the people went after idols and gods of other or neighboring nations in following their kings, even though the Lord warned them against it through his prophets.  Surely, the prophets of old were a big minority preaching purity, yet the Lord was with them.

For the God of the Bible is neither elected by a majority vote, nor does he side with majority just for the sake of it all the time (of course, unless they are doing it for a right cause in His time, in His way).  He was, He is, and He will be the uncaused cause, uncreated creator, unappointed Judge, the Great Shepherd of the lost, the only Gate and Shepherd of the innocent sheep, unpaid provider for the needy, all by his own virtue forever.

In their fight against slavery, the freedom fighters were mostly a small number  (for a detailed account of slavery, please refer this article on Wikipedia.  By the way, this is a great article to start with if you are doing a research on the subject.)

)We will be like ‘broken pots that cannot hold water,’ if we are always akin to ‘side with the majority.’  Of what use is a pot if it cannot hold water anymore?

As some man of God said it so clearly, “one man with God is a greater majority.”

Joash – youngest king of Judah

To read 2 Chronicles 24. Compare to 2 Kings 12

We (family prayer) had this chapter for our daily meditations yesterday.

Joash was 19th king in God’s kingdom (7th in Judah) 835-796 BC.  He ruled Judah for 40 years.  He was crowned at age 7.  His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

Another important person of note in his life was Jehoida, the priest.  He was instrumental in saving, protecting, crowning, and guiding Joash.

Joash was faithful as long as Jehoida was alive.

Joash repairs the temple.  The repair of the temple was initiated because the sons of Athaliah had defiled the temple and had taken and used sacred objects of the temple in Baal’s worship.  It is interesting to note that the people in his day gave generously to the temple repair work and the king’s men handled the money faithfully too.  They bring the temple to it’s original form.

Jehoida dies at age 130.  Two times in this chapter is a reference to the phrase or to its equivalent ‘as long as Jehoida lived.’  First one is in relation to Joash’s faithlessness to the Lord.  Second one, in relation to the burnt offerings being offered continually in the temple.  That speaks to the influence he exerted on all around him.  He had impacted both the king and the people.  The fact that he was buried among the kings shows how much people respected him, whereas Joash was not buried in the tombs of the kings.

In verses 1-15, we see the influence of Jehoida on Joash.  In verse 16, the author notes the influence of ‘officials of Judah’ on Joash.  As a result of which they abandon the temple and go after Asherah poles and idols.  Because of this guilt of theirs, the LORD’s anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem.  Yet, the LORD sent many prophets to warn them; they did not listen.

One prominent among them seems to be Zechariah, son of Jehoida; but the king commands to kill him.

Zachariah’s message to the people is noteworthy here.  “This is what God says: ‘why do you disobey the LORD’s comands?  You will not prosper.  Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'”  24:20

Conclusion:  “Prosperity of kings and their subjects in God’s kingdom depended on their faithfulness and obedience to the LORD and the LORD’s covenant than anything that is their own.”

Question: is it anyway different for us as 21st century believers and members of the new testament/covenant?

I hate him because he never prophesies good about me

“….but I (king Ahab of Israel) hate him (prophet Micaiah) because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.” 2 Chronicles 18.

That is a statement by a king (of Israel) called Ahab.

Let us dig a little more.  First, let us explore the context of 2 Chronicles 18.    Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) had allied himself with Ahab by marriage and at this time, Jehoshaphat is visiting with king Ahab in Samaria.  Here, Ahab sacrifices (not Jehovah God but ) in honor of Jehoshaphat and cunningly tries to convince him to join hands in an attack against Ramoth Gilead.  But Jehoshaphat replies “first, seek the counsel of the LORD” and Ahab agrees (18:3-4).

So, Ahab brings 400 of his prophets who unanimously say “Go, for God will give it into the king’s hand.”  But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?” 18:6.

Jehoshaphat’s question makes it clear that the 400 prophets of Ahab were not really of the LORD because Jehoshaphat did not trust them.  Probably, they were prophets of Baal (because Ahab provoked the LORD to anger than all other kings of Israel (1 Kings 16:33) by building a temple for Baal in Samaria).

So, now we understand, in this context Ahab says “i hate him because….”  Though these 400 prophets actually served Baal, they still claimed to be prophets of the Lord.

It is exactly opposite to the popular proverb/notion/belief that “majority always wins.” In Ahab’s case, he did not win but lost his life according to the prophecy of one true prophet of the LORD, Hezekiah (as against 400 of Ahab/Baals temple).

So, does majority always win?  Not so.  May be it is true in politics but not in spirituality and spirituality is not politics and visa versa.  It is true that the majority does persecute/humiliate the minority; in this case, the leader of the false prophets slaps the real prophet in the face.

So it will be with us when we stand for the truth.  we will be humiliated and persecuted when we say that Jesus is the only way/savior that delivers from the holds of sin and death.  We will be called names like bigots when we speak the truth boldly.

But let us be encouraged because the LORD is with us.  One who is with the LORD is a greater majority.

Ahab hated him simply because Micaiah always spoke the truth and did not prophesy on his own but always spoke whatever the Lord told him to which Ahab did not like.  Let us follow in his footsteps. We cannot preach/teach what people like but what the Lord tells us.