07/06/15 Victory that Leads to Defeat

READING: 2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Sometimes victory is the beginning of a downfall if we forget the God who gave us the victory. Amaziah, king of Judah, had experienced victory over the Edomites, but only because he followed the plan of God announced through an unnamed prophet (2 Chron. 25:7-12). Amazingly, he then took steps that would lead to his own defeat.

First, he chose to worship the false gods of the Edomites. In a fit of foolishness, he turned to the very gods that were incapable of granting the Edomites victory against Amaziah’s own armies. 

2 Chron. 25:14 After Amaziah came from the attack on the Edomites, he brought the gods of the Seirites and set them up as his gods. He worshiped before them and burned incense to them. 

Second, he ignored the words of the prophet. God sent a spokesman to rebuke the king, and the king refused to listen.

2 Chron. 25:15-16 So the Lord’s anger was against Amaziah, and He sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why have you sought a people’s gods that could not deliver their own people from your hand?” While he was still speaking to him, the king asked, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Stop, why should you lose your life?”

Third, he overconfidently believed he was now strong enough to take on the northern kingdom of Israel. Even when the king of Israel recognized the problem — 2 Kgs. 14:10 “You have indeed defeated Edom, and you have become overconfident.. . . ” — Amaziah would not listen. He attacked, and God turned him over to his enemies in judgment for his idolatry.  

Here’s what strikes me about these texts. Both 2 Kings 14:3 and 2 Chronicles 25:2 say that Amaziah generally did what was right in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly. Apparently, a heart with even an inkling of disobedience can be drug deeply into idolatry when we forget that God alone gives us victory. None of us is immune — beginning with those of us who have had victory today. 

PRAYER: Pray that we will never take credit for any victory God gives us. 

TOMORROW’S READING: Jonah 1-4