May 28

 

Read II Chronicles 25 -- 27

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Amaziah reigns in Judah; war against Edom; Israel defeats Judah; Uzziah reigns in Jerusalem; Uzziah stricken with leprosy

 

After Joash was murdered by his servants, his son Amaziah became king of Judah (see II Chronicles 24:25-27; also II Kings 12:20-21). As he began his reign, he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart (II Chronicles 25:2; also II Kings 14:3-6). On one occasion, he hired soldiers from the northern kingdom to help him fight against Edom (descendants of Esau) in an effort to regain lost territory (see II Chronicles 25:6). After a man of God rebuked him for not fully trusting in the Lord, who alone has power to help, and to cast down (25: 7-8), Amaziah dismissed the Israelite army and was successful in defeating the Edomites But, instead of praising the Lord for victory, he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them. Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah (25:14-16) because he lived for the wrong values and he, too, was slain (see 25:27).

 

One of the most successful kings in Judah's history was his 16-year-old son Uzziah (see 26:1). The key to his success was unmistakable: He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God. . . . And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the Temple of the LORD to burn incense (26:5,15-16). Only priests were qualified to offer incense to God; but Uzziah refused to stop, even when rebuked by Azariah and 80 other priests (see 26:17-18). Consequently, God struck Uzziah with leprosy. Even though he was a great king, God still judged him, for no man is above the Law of God. Because of his leprosy, Uzziah was an outcast from his own palace as well as from the Temple for the rest of his life.

 

Few sins are as deceptive and destructive as overestimating one's importance. For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

 

Christ Portrayed:

 

By Azariah the high priest who stood between Uzziah and the altar, because there was only one proper way to approach the Lord God of Israel and that was through the service of the priests (II Chronicles 26:17-18). Jesus, our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), is the only way for anyone to come to God. Jesus said to him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).

 

Word Studies:

 

25:21 saw one another in the face = faced each other in battle; 26:10 husbandry = the soil.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Mrs. Marjorie Irwin · Government Officials: Rep. Steve King (IA), Rep. Tom Petri (WI), and Gov. Mark Sanford (SC) · Country: Bahamas (284,000) in the northern portion of the West Indies · Major languages: English and some Creole · Religious freedom · 72% Protestant; 26% Roman Catholic; 1% Afro-American spiritist · Prayer Suggestion: Have faith in God's Word (John 4:49-53).

 

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 15

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 4:3