2 Kings 14:15-29

Jeroboam II Succeeds Jehoash in Israel

15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 16 So Jehoash slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son became king in his place.

Azariah (Uzziah) Succeeds Amaziah in Judah

17 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived fifteen years after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 19 They conspired against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there. 20 Then they brought him on horses and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David. 21 All the people of Judah took [h]Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah. 22 He built Elath and restored it to Judah after the king slept with his fathers.

23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel became king in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years. 24 He did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin. 25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which He spoke [i]through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher. 26 For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter; for there was neither bond nor free, nor was there any helper for Israel. 27 The Lord did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.

Zechariah Reigns over Israel

28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam and all that he did and his might, how he fought and how he recovered for Israel, Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel, and Zechariah his son became king in his place.

Fifteen years after Amaziah’s foolish warmongering and defeat by Jehoash, the people of Judah had had enough. We don’t know why, but we already saw his pride get him into trouble, and it says he did evil, so the people rose up against him and made his teenage son king instead.

Not that Azariah was a better warrior, for we find he lost territory to Israel. But something drove the leaders of Judah to assassinate Amaziah, even to pursue him after he fled to another town. It may have been a classic failing of leadership, and given his proclivity to pride, that would be a fair guess. Leaders forget they are to also be servants of their followers. While a good leader delegates to his people, it’s a paradox that a good leader is also a servant.

If a leader loses sight of that, and begins to lord if over his people/followers/company, they are sure to lose effectiveness as they lose the trust of those around them. Even pride itself is a destructive force to a leader. Those who embrace price believe a lie about themselves that everyone else around them can see through–classically symbolized in the tale of the emperor who had no clothes.

No matter what your position, be humble, and be a servant, and you will build the character necessary to lead, whether great or small in position. God himself has modeled this for us, and Jesus told us the first shall be last. He showed His disciples true servant leadership when He washed their feet, and it’s a model that bears out every day in our world. Get rid of the pride, and never be afraid to get your hands dirty.

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