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This chapter records the reign of Amaziah: his wars, his idolatry, the Lord's displeasure against him; his combat with Joash: his death.
This expression of Amaziah's doing right in the Lord's sight, but not with a perfect heart, throws a light upon his whole character. What he did in a way of worship was in mere form and ceremony. He found it to be a matter of state policy to keep up the temple service. His interest was concerned, and therefore he followed it. And, no doubt from the same motive, had his interest lay the opposite way, Amaziah would have been as much alive to have pursued it. Alas! what is man!
There was justice as well as suitable respect to the divine command in this preservation of the children of his father's murderers. The Lord had said this, Deuteronomy 24:16 .
If we compare the army of Judah as mentioned in this place, with the army as it stood in the days of Jehoshaphat, we find a sad decrease. See 2 Chronicles 17:12-18 . The whole of Jehoshaphat's subjects at that time were little less than six million, including men, women, and children. But this will be explained when we consider what are the sad consequences of sin. The Lord turneth a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. Psalms 107:34 .
See, Reader, how prone man is to look to an arm of flesh, to anything, rather than the Lord. And spiritually considered, doth not the believer do this when not living wholly upon Jesus?
Observe how very gracious the Lord was, to send a message for safety to such a character as Amaziah. Yes! in the worst of times the Lord hath an eye to his people. Nevertheless (saith God) I wrought for my name's sake. Ezekiel 20:22 . There is a blessed nevertheless whereby the Lord will look with mercy upon his people for his great name's sake, and for his covenant righteousness sake, with his dear Son. How beautiful a thought is introduced in the midst of this treaty between the man of God and the king; of God's all-sufficiency in making up all our losses which we at any time sustain in obeying his voice. Reader, do not fail to remark this as you go along. The indignation of the distressed army, and the revenge they took, may serve to teach us what dreadful effects break out among the carnal: potsherds striving with potsherds. Alas! did not the Lord restrain, what would be the bloodshed deluging the earth, from the proud, imperious, angry passions of man against man!
Was there ever a more glaring instance of wickedness and folly? He is permitted to scourge Edom for idolatry, and then sets up idols himself.
Wherein did Amaziah differ from his father? Joash did indeed kill Zechariah; but Amaziah would have done the same had not the prophet held his peace. Reader! do not fail to remark the awfulness of such characters.
What advice could this be? Not of God, nor his prophets, for he had despised both.
Much of this history we have 2 Kings 14:0 . But we shall do well to observe in the sad history of the termination of his life, what is said; it came of God. Yes! when sinners reject the counsel of God, it is against their own souls, how frequently are they made to do the very reverse of what they intend!
WE ought to pause over the view of such characters as Amaziah, and gather instruction from the very awful representation of the corrupt and fallen nature they afford. How in direct opposition to duty, to interest, to happiness, is all their conduct. Making a profession of godliness, but denying the power of it. At length breaking out in open rebellion, and closing life in all the bitterness of sorrow. How dreadfully painful are the embassies of faithful servants to such men; and how sure are their reproofs to bring upon them their hatred. But whether the Amaziahs of the present day will hear, or whether they will forbear, they must be found faithful. And however slighted, or despised, or even brought into peril by their integrity, still they are to go on through evil report and good report. The injuries they sustain God will recompense. He that despiseth them despiseth him that sent them. And in the end God will judge their cause, and bring forth their integrity as the light. Jesus looks on, and knows all. He will come with vengeance, even God will come with a recompense.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 25". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13