2 Chronicles 25:1-13

Amaziah Succeeds Joash in Judah

25 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. Now it came about as soon as the kingdom was [a]firmly in his grasp, that he killed his servants who had slain his father the king. However, he did not put their children to death, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the Lord commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”

Amaziah Defeats Edomites

Moreover, Amaziah assembled Judah and appointed them according to their fathers’ households under commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds throughout Judah and Benjamin; and he [b]took a census of those from twenty years old and upward and found them to be 300,000 choice men, able to go to war and handle spear and shield. He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim. But if you do go, do it, be strong for the battle; yet God will [c]bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to [d]bring down.” Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” And the man of God answered, “The Lord has much more to give you than this.” 10 Then Amaziah [e]dismissed them, the troops which came to him from Ephraim, to go home; so their anger burned against Judah and they returned [f]home in fierce anger.

11 Now Amaziah strengthened himself and led his people forth, and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 of the sons of Seir. 12 The sons of Judah also captured 10,000 alive and brought them to the top of the cliff and threw them down from the top of the cliff, so that they were all dashed to pieces. 13 But the [g]troops whom Amaziah sent back from going with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 of them and plundered much spoil.

That had to be difficult for Amaziah, to pay such a large mount of money for 100k troops, and then send them all home. But that’s what God asked Amaziah to do, and so he did it. So while we are told that Amaziah didn’t serve God with his whole heart, he certainly was “all in” here.

But that wasn’t the end of the story, because the Ephraimites attacked while he was in battle in the Valley of Salt, and killed 3,000 people and plundered their cities. It would be easy for Amaziah to get discouraged after obeying God and then having it result in tragedy.

This can, and does, happen in our lives when we obey God. Don’t expect all sunshine and roses, because God often uses hard things to shape our lives. From a material and finite perspective, it would be fairly logical to blame God for those things, and feel like a victim with no control.

However, we always have control over how we react to circumstances, that is one thing God never takes from us. In difficult times, it is all the more important that we respond by seeking God and finding His will in the midst of trouble. God will lead us through any situation when we look to Him, and while we may never know the reason for a particular event, we can be sure that God is working things for the best. His vision is not finite, and His concern for us is far above what we can imagine. God’s great love for us guides the future of all humanity, and that’s something you can depend on through all of life’s ups and downs.

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