2 Chronicles 25 – Amaziah
2 Chronicles 26 – Uzziah
2 Chronicles 27 – Jotham
2 Chronicles 28 – Ahaz
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One Reply to “Four Kings: Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz”
Reading through these kings at this point reminds me of why I took some time to create the Kings and Prophets chart last year. [Kings and Prophets]. Many of these chapters provide demographic details, so the chart made it easier to visualize what was happening historically.
Amaziah. “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly (2 Chronicles 25:2). He made the mistake of hiring soldiers from Israel (the Northern Kingdom), “a hundred thousand fighting men for a hundred talents of sliver” (25:6) and was confronted with “a man of God” who told him “God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow” (25:8). He wisely dismisses the troops; they were furious. Amaziah destroyed the men of Seir, including 10,000 men they captured alive then tossed off of a cliff to their death. Amaziah was proud of himself. He setup the idols of Seir as his own and worshipped them. A prophet confronted him, but he dismissed the prophet. Instead, he provoked is Northern Kingdom counterpart (Jehoash), inviting him to battle. Jehoash’s response is intriguing:
Amaziah’s arrogance betrayed Judah and Jehoash routed them, breaking down part of the wall around Jerusalem and stealing the articles of gold and silver found in the temple. Amaziah lived 15 years longer than Jehoash, but sadly, he completely turned from following the Lord and was killed in Lachish.
Uzziah (his throne name) is Azariah (his personal name) in 2 Kings 14, was made king following his father’s death (Amaziah) at the age of 16. It’s amazing to know he reigned for 52 years. He was very successful as a warrior because God was with him, he helped him win battle after battle.
Note to self: watch out for pride and arrogance, give God the credit! Uzziah decided he could enter the temple and burn incense on the alter, but the priests gathered and confronted him. Uzziah was immensely angry with the priests. “While he was raging at the priests…leprosy broke out on his forehead” (26:19). King Uzziah had leprosy until he died, living in a separate house, banned from the temple.
Uzziah’s reign is connected with Isaiah (26:22), notably referred to in Isaiah 6:1, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.” Isaiah’s ministry began at a time with the Israelites were far from the Lord.
Jotham. Not much is said about Jotham’s 16-year rule, except that he did “what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the Lord. The people, however, continued their corrupt practices” (27:2). Jotham minded his business, but did not lead the people in the ways of the Lord. Still, “Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God” (27:6). God still honored Jotham’s commitment. Interesting.
Ahaz. Like his father, Ahaz also reigned 16 years; however, unlike his ancestors, he worshipped the Baals, even sacrificed his own children to these gods. Therefore the Lord was angry with them and allowed the Arameans to defeat them. The Northern Kingdom joined in the fury and defeated them as well, taking plunder from the temple, as well as “two hundred thousand wives, sons and daughters.” This angered the Lord and he sent a prophet to warn them to return the captives, “so they took them back to their fellow Israelites at Jericho” (28:15). Sadly, Ahaz continued his fall from the Lord.
These kings, all in the lineage of Jesus, had many ups and downs. Many years pass between them, but still the remnant lives, those who serve the Lord with gladness and with all their heart. We certainly see the recurring theme of follow God and enjoy rewards, turn from God and things fall apart, but what are the other takeaways from this reading? Perhaps it’s the associations we should pay attention to, those inner-groups of people with which we gravitate toward. None of us like to admit we’re clique-ish, but we are all guilty of discrimination to some degree (not all bad). The problem arises when we move from appropriate discretion to that of isolation, of only surrounding ourselves with those of like minds to the point we become deceived and slip away from honoring God. I suspect the royal treatment of these kings led to their downfall.
Lord help me to keep your perspective on each day we have here on earth. You woke me up today Lord, what would you have me do this day? You gave me one more breath Lord, how may I serve you here now?