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Bible Pathways 05/28/2002

May 28

Read 2 Chronicles 25 -- 27

In Today's Reading:

Amaziah reigns in Judah; war against Edom; Israel defeats Judah; death of Amaziah; Uzziah reigns in Jerusalem; Uzziah stricken with leprosy; Jotham's reign.

Verses for Today:

Wherefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and He sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand? . . . I know that God hath detemined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel (2 Chronicles 25:15-16).

After Joash was murdered by his servants, his son Amaziah became King of Judah (2 Chronicles 25:1). As he began his reign, he did [what] was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart (25:2; see 2 Kings 12:21; 14:3-6).

Like his father, the mixed motives in Amaziah's life eventually destroyed him. On one occasion, he hired 100,000 mercenaries from the Northern Kingdom of Israel to help him fight Edom in an effort to regain lost territory (2 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, Amaziah . . . brought the gods of the children of Seir (Edom), and set them up to be his gods. . . . Wherefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and He sent to him a prophet, [who] said [to] him, Why [have you] sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of [your] hand? . . . I know that God [has] determined to destroy [you], because [you have] done this (25:14-16). Amaziah rebuked the prophet and then challenged the more powerful King of Israel, which resulted in his disastrous defeat. After . . . Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem . . . and slew him (25:27).

Amaziah's son Uzziah (Azariah) (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chronicles 26:1) was one of the most successful kings of Judah. His father's victory over Edom had opened the way for Uzziah's greatest achievement of rebuilding the port city of Elath. Located near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqabah, Elath was near Eziongeber and was a strategic city for anyone wishing to exact tribute from the wealthy caravans enroute to Arabia, Egypt, and Phoenicia.

Judah once again became a powerful influence upon its surrounding enemies. Uzziah accomplished many things, including bringing into subjection the Philistines on the west, the Arabians on the southeast, and the Ammonites on the east, as well as fortifying Jerusalem and other cities. The key to his success was unmistakable: As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. . . . he (Uzziah) strengthened himself exceedingly. . . . his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped. . . . But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he . . . went into the Temple of the Lord to burn incense (26:5,8,15-16).

Only priests were qualified to offer incense to God; but Uzziah refused to stop, even when rebuked by 80 priests of the Lord (26:17). Consequently, God struck Uzziah with leprosy. Even though he was a great king, God still judged him for his sin because no man is above the Law of God. During the last 10 years of his life, because of this leprosy, Uzziah was an outcast from his own palace as well as the Temple.

Few sins are as deceptive or destructive as overestimating our own importance. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man . . . not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think (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 (2 Chronicles 26:17-18). Jesus, our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), has made the only way for us to come to God. Jesus said unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes unto 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:

Government Official: Rep. Tom Petri (WI) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Germany (82 million) in north-central Europe · Major language: German · Religious freedom · 37% Protestant; 36% Roman Catholic; 3% Muslim; .7% Greek/Serbian/Russian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord; He will give you peace and strength (Daniel 10:19).

Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 15

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:9

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