Amaziah is fresh from a victory against the men of Seir. God stood with him in battle. But Amaziah doesn’t stand with God afterwards.
This story makes me want to reach into it and grab Amaziah by the throat! “How could you be so STUPID!” Not only does Amaziah bring home the gods of the defeated nation and set them up as his own but he also silences the voice of God when he reaches out in correction.
God loves His children and He gives us every opportunity to repent and turn from our sin. But we can refuse to listen. This is exactly what Amaziah did. “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” (verse 16b). In other words, “I don’t want to hear it. And if you don’t shut up I will kill you.”
Can you imagine being the man of God at that moment? This may well be the same man of God who came to Amaziah before he went to battle. The man who told him that the Lord was on Amaziah’s side and would win without the troops from Israel. The same man who told him that God could return the 100 talents of silver already spent. The very man who witnessed Amaziah’s desire to follow the Lord’s command. Talk about a jaw dropping moment!
What happened to the Amaziah of a few days or weeks ago? What did he see in the idols of a defeated army that grabbed his attention and devotion? How could he have so easily dismissed God’s intervention on Judah’s behalf? Was his heart never truly the Lord’s to begin with? This seems the most plausible explanation to me. He was making his way from one new thing to another. And this latest thing had less restrictions on it.
The idols of Seir didn’t make any demands of Amaziah. They didn’t even demand that he take them home and worship them. They didn’t have any regulations regarding sacrifices, or at least none that Amaziah had discovered yet. But neither did they make any promises of reward. And there was NO power in them. These gods couldn’t even protect the very people they had been taken from.
This brings another story to mind. The story I’m thinking about is the only time we see the Ark of the Lord taken in battle. There is a BIG difference in how God responded when His property was taken and how the gods of Seir responded. The gods of Seir easily transitioned from one owner to another. They had no say in who bowed down to them. But God would NOT let an unholy people hold His Ark. He inflicted great distress on the Philistines until they sent the Ark back to Israel. Seir’s gods simply stand there on the shelf, unknowing and unseeing as to their fate. Amaziah could just as easily have melted them down for their metal and they would have been none the wiser. So which God/god would you trust with your future?
Amaziah trusted the wrong one! To me this means that he also dismissed God’s hand in the victory over Seir. If Amaziah believed God gave him victory, he would continue to cling to Him. Amaziah believed he had triumphed over the men of Seir. Maybe their numbers weren’t large after all. Maybe the 20,000 killed by Judah represented the majority of their forces. To the victor go the spoils. Amaziah was determined to make the most of the spoils he won. His elbow probably hurt from patting himself on the back so much.
A line for the Wizard of Oz popped into my mind. “If I ever go looking for happiness, I don’t have to look any further than my own back yard.” That’s how I am with my God. HE is the ONLY source of true happiness. Looking ANYWHERE else won’t satisfy that longing in my heart. Or yours either. He is a God who sees. A God who hears. A God who answers. The ONLY God with power of ANY kind. Those ‘selling’ false gods might convince you there is something to their claims but in reality, it is all smoke and mirrors.
My God made the oceans and the seas.
My God spoke the clouds and the breeze.
My God filled the darkness of night.
My God made the wonder of each star’s light.
My God brought the first tick of time.
And my God has authored this silly rhyme.
His hands are so vast, He holds the universe in His grasp.
And His hands are so fine, that they securely hold mine.
There is no other to behold, whose glory is still untold
I gladly share Him with you, for He dearly loves you too.
Father God, thank You for loving me. Thank You for reminding me each day that there is NONE like You. That I could search until the end of time and never find happiness apart from You. I would be lost without You, in MORE ways than one! Thank You that YOU never give up on me. Even when I stumble and fall, You are waiting to pick me back up again. Forgive me for ever crying out “STOP! I can do it myself.” That is the BIGGEST LIE EVER! I can do NOTHING apart from You. Remind me of that any time I start to pat myself on the back.