Our Hearts Should Be Perfect To Serve The Lord


Amaziah, The King With An Imperfect Heart

2 Chronicles 25

We have been in the New Testament Book of Luke for several months now so let’s spend some time in the Old Testament and look at some kings other than David and Solomon and some others we do not hear much about.

According to the Bible, our heart is not only the center of our spiritual activity but also the center operations of the human life.

Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

So the heart is then the home of our personal life!

Psa 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Psa 24:5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

The heart is also the seat of our conscience.

Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

All these things are true but the greatest truth of our heart is that since the sin of Adam, we each carry within our selves a wicked heart that has to be over come daily.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

So the process of salvation that leads to discipleship of all others must begin in the heart!

Psa 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psa 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Psa 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psa 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Today we will see a King of Judah who had an imperfect heart.

The bottom line is that when our heart is not right with God we will loose the opportunity to serve Him and this is the greatest purpose we have in this life!

But there are terrible things that happen when are hearts are not right with God and right with each other!

There is also a secondary thing we will see in these Scriptures and that is as a nation grows weak the opportunity to have to defend itself against an enemy increases and war is most likely!

All these things lead to an increase in wicked behavior and this is evident in our own nation today!

*****2Ch 25:1 Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
2Ch 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.

Amaziah was 25 years old which even today seems too young to be a national ruler but his father King Joash had been assassinated.

In reality Amaziah had already ruled the last year of his father’s reign because Joash was deathly sick and unable to rule and there may be an actual reason that he was killed.

2Ch 24:24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.
2Ch 24:25 And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

To me this seems like these Syrians used some king of biological warfare substance to kill Joash and his family all except Amaziah, maybe just poison but it’s the same thing.

Amaziah’s mother was Jewish and the better kings of Judah all had Jewish mothers.

There should be little doubt that Amaziah had made a commitment to the Lord early in life but it will be also obvious that he had not committed with his whole heart. Without a total commitment to the Lord our life will never be as it could have been.

This describes the modern day church of today!

The modern day church is not totally devoted to the Lord and getting farther away all the time!

In 2 Kings we can see that Amaziah failed to remove the places of false worship from Judah and even allowed people to continue to build worship centers to pagan gods.

No matter how our constitution is viewed today, America was established on the principles of the Bible and it was never intended to allow the places of worship to false gods that we see today.

When these things take place there will always be those who will allow some practices of false worship to seep into the worship of the true God and this is an abomination to God!

Psa 81:9 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

1Co 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

The early settlers to America used this truth as their guiding principle!

This is called compromising and we simply cannot compromise in the things of the Lord nor on the Word of God.

To allow worldly activities to go on in the Church can lead to immorality and deadly sin!

But, the first thing Amaziah did was to revenge his father’s death.

*****2Ch 25:3 Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father.
2Ch 25:4 But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.

It’s fair to say that those that killed Amaziah’s father deserved punishment. In that day that punishment would extend to the entire family but the Word of God says different and Amaziah followed the Word of God in this instance.

The one rule of God we should be able to see is that, when we face God it will be for our own sin and not the sin of others!

We also cannot pray for God to forgive the sin of others, this is something that they must do themselves.

So we are to be obedient to God in all things.

*****2Ch 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield.
2Ch 25:6 He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver.

As any good leader should do, Amaziah began to establish an army to protect his kingdom. Judah had become weak militarily in the last years of Joash.

He took a census of all men over 20 years old.

He selected officers according to the leaders of all the clans of Judah and Benjamin which was the wise thing to do and not install officers that he hand picked for his own political agenda as is what happens today here in America.

He found that he could have a 300,000 man standing army.

It is then that Amaziah got stupid.

Israel was a divided nation at that time and had been since the death of Solomon.

The Northern Kingdom called Israel were enemies to the Southern Kingdom called Judah.

God had withdrawn His hand from the Northern Kingdom because they now worship false gods and had rejected Jehovah God.

To hire mercenaries from Israel could have never been a good idea!

But to hire mercenaries from a nation God has already withdrawn from is totally ridiculous

A hundred talents of silver may not sound like a lot but when you consider that this was 3 and 3/4 tons of silver, you can see that this was an awful lot of money in any day.

These are the stupid things that governments waste money on when it could have been better used for the people of Judah.

Any money or any other thing provided to things that go against the Word of God is a total waste of God’s provision for His people!

And God was not happy with Amaziah!

*****2Ch 25:7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.
2Ch 25:8 But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.

Today we have the complete Word of God with all His commandments and many examples of how we are to do things but Amaziah did not at this time and God would send His prophets.

So before Amaziah did this foolish thing, God sent a prophet to inform Amaziah of his mistake.

It’s not important who this prophet was, it is only important that he brought the Word of God, he was only the messenger the words he used came from God.

God was not with Israel because He had been rejected by them, to hire an army from Israel would cause God to withdraw His right hand of power and Judah would lose the battle.

If Judah was going to win a war, then they needed God on their side and not an enemies army.

Amaziah hesitated for a moment.

*****2Ch 25:9 And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this.

What is the truth of the Scriptures? If we love the Lord God with all our heart, our mind and our soul, He will provide our needs to fulfill His purpose.

It was a great sum of money Amaziah had paid and it could effect the economy of Judah but God will always provide for His people and our God has deep pockets when necessary.

We can also be sure that the life of a child of God is not in material things and we cannot depend on material things to solve our problems.

But as we know mercenaries are ruthless men who are all about money and riches and anyone can be their enemy can any given day.

*****2Ch 25:10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: wherefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in great anger.

These ruthless men who would hire out their services became very angry because they had planned to plunder and steal anything they could get there hands on wherever they fought. They absolutely had no morals at all.

They served the god of riches and the god of power.

Psa 52:7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

These are the same types who are in control of our government today and most other governments in this world!

Power and riches are destroying our nation and will completely destroy it!

So Amaziah led his own army into battle.

*****2Ch 25:11 And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.
2Ch 25:12 And other ten thousand left alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken in pieces.

Since the time of King David the Edomites had been under control but when Israel became divided and spent most of their time in war with each other, the Edomites had escaped and again began to harass Judah.

Some of these same descendants are what are called the Palestinians today who continue to cause turmoil in Israel but the world is blind to these things and see them only as refugees.

The war was fought and the battle was won but to capture another 10,000 to simply brutally murder them was truly unnecessary and certainly not the will of God.

They themselves acted just like the lawless hoodlums that were the Edomites and God teaches us to never sink down to the level of our enemy!

It is God Himself who will avenge His people!

While Amaziah was ruthlessly murdering his enemy, another enemy was seeking revenge on his nation.

This is a sure proof that our leaders are really stupid when they give all our military plans to our enemies!

Just as our leaders should very careful in joining with our enemies and announcing red lines or any such plan of action on our part.

But stupid is what stupid does!

*****2Ch 25:13 But the soldiers of the army which Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Bethhoron, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.

While the army of Judah was busy with the Edomites, those mercenaries of Israel had free reign to do as they wished and they wished to plunder and maim in Judah every city on their way home to Samaria.

Because all the fighting men were called into the army, 3000 of the children and older folks in Judah gave up their lives to these ruthless men hungry for riches and would hire out to anyone with money.

These men were simply terrorist in reality who attacked women and children and older folks.

It should obvious that we as a nation and as a people, should avoid associations with our enemies and evil people.

The Lord Himself had ordered Amaziah to have nothing to do with unbelieving enemy soldiers.

When we join regularly with unbelievers, it is we who will be pulled down, we are witnessing all these things today as the Church has lost it’s influence on our society of today.

That the reason God gives us a commandment to stay away from such associations.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Yes we are to witness to the uttermost but we are certainly not to fellowship with the world!

Christians should be the most loving, the most kind, and the most caring people on this earth but we are not to be the most foolish and we certainly are not to be a door mat for the evil of this world.

We are not to form close alliances, or covenants, or associations with the wicked and evil of this earth!

But Amaziah did another even more foolish thing.

*****2Ch 25:14 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that 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 unto them.
2Ch 25:15 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?
2Ch 25:16 And it came to pass, as he talked with him, that the king said unto him, Art thou made of the king’s counsel? forbear; why shouldest thou be smitten? Then the prophet forbare, and said, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel.

Amaziah went to battle in the name of the Lord.

Amaziah was directed and encouraged by the prophet of God.

Amaziah conquered the Edomites only because of the “Grace” of God.

Then Amaziah deserted the God of Israel, who gave him the victory, to worship the false gods of a defeated people.

Besides unbelief, not believing in God at all, the worst sin for any of us is to say we are Christians and worship some other so called god!

God is very serious about who we are to worship!

Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

There are people in this world that actually believe in the false gods that they worship, but as Christians we are simply not to recognize them or that they have any power to do anything at all, for they are all powerless because they exist only in the minds of those who worship them!

It is now very evident that Amaziah’s heart was not perfect before God.

But how many of us place our little gods before God on a daily basis?

False worship is false worship no matter how it takes place!

To explain why this thing happened, it was common practice to take away the false gods of the enemy to show them how powerless they were to defend them, but to take them home and begin to worship them was utter foolishness but throughout history this has happened many times.

So what happens when we do these foolish things?

We will see that God gets angry.

Psa 44:20 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;
Psa 44:21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

What did God first do? First we will always see God’s warning.

But God will only warn us so many times because he is always true to His Word!

When God sends His messengers and we do not treat them as the truth of God or as the Word of God then we will feel the wrath of God!

At the time of Amaziah God spoke through His prophets.

Today we have the complete Word of God and God’s messengers speak using this as their guideline.

The truth is why would we dare worship material things that can only rob us of the truth of God?

But Amaziah reacts in rage to God’s man and threatened the man of God to keep his mouth shut or die.

Is this not what our own government is telling God’s people today. Well maybe not threatened with death but certainly with jail, and taking away deductions given to the Church and any other way they can cause harm to the Church.

The Edomites were another group that sacrificed their own children among the many other sinful ways they had, which included terrorism.

God’s prophet still told Amaziah that God would destroy him if he would not listen to the Word of God and this is what will happen to all those who do such things.

This is God’s Word and not my idle threat.

We can see that not only did Amaziah worship false gods, but he was also full of arrogance and pride and he hated the Word of God therefore hating God’s people.

Jesus said:

Joh 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

We live in a world today where even our own government hates God’s people and the governments of most nations also, especially those that surround Israel.

Is God angry with America, I believe we can see the evidence of that now.

God will certainly not stay where He is not welcomed.

God will not force Himself on anyone at least during this period we call “Grace”, the Church Age!

What did Amaziah do but ignore the Word of God and follow the counsel of ungodly men maybe even from some religious leader of those false gods he had taken from the Edomites.

Religion will destroy you!

Only Christianity can save you!

*****2Ch 25:17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us see one another in the face.
2Ch 25:18 And Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.

In the language of us in the south, we would say that Amaziah’s victory over the Edomites had made him cocky, as in a strutting rooster.

Amaziah had essentially declared war on the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

King Amaziah may have been angered at what those mercenaries for what they had done on their way back to Samaria but that was something he would have to accept the responsibility for causing.

Jehoash, King of the Northern Tribes, informed Amaziah that he was too filled with pride and arrogance and he was only asking for trouble to meddle in the affairs of the Northern Tribes and he was right.

Jehoash was not threatened at all by Judah and Amaziah was to full of arrogance to back down.

My friends this is how wars get started even today!

Arrogance and pride and stupidity by governments that were put in place to protect their people.

When we get puffed up with pride and feel that we are superior to others or better than others, or worth more than others, this is the driving force behind the effort in bringing others under your control.

What do we see in American politics today?

We see men and women who think that normal people are just not smart enough to make their own decisions and because of their arrogance and their pride and their upper crust value of themselves they have become power hungry and will do anything to achieve it.

They will not accept the Word of God because He points out their faults and they hate anyone that does not see things their way.

They make promises to others that they have no intention of keeping nor do they have the power to keep!

This was the world of the Jew under King Amaziah.

This is the world of America under those in power in our day!

What is the truth of the Scriptures?

Pro 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

All those that are worried about some one unknown should better worry about those we know that are already power hungry because of their arrogance and pride.

Pro 26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
Pro 26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

King Amaziah could not see the truth in the Word of God.

*****2Ch 25:19 Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide now at home; why shouldest thou meddle to thine hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?
2Ch 25:20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it came of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom.
2Ch 25:21 So Joash the king of Israel went up; and they saw one another in the face, both he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah.
2Ch 25:22 And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent.

The truth of Joash is that at this time he had no reason to go to war with Judah. He did not want to cause harm to those people who were innocent of the arrogance of their king.

Amaziah simply “would not hear”, and God had said He would punish Amaziah for his idolatry.

If can just imagine Pharaoh in the days of Moses, Amaziah was given to blindness and hardness of heart as he was in his day.

You see it was “they” not just the king but many others that had taken up with the false gods of the Edomites.

In fact Joash had to defend his own nation but he did so by moving his army into the land of Judah which means his army was already prepared well ahead for Amaziah who had just fought a conflict that was simply to easy for his army.

In this surprise action Joash quickly routed the army of Judah and they withdrew from the battlefield and ran for their lives.

It is then that King Joash decided to teach Amaziah and Judah a lesson.

*****2Ch 25:23 And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Bethshemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
2Ch 25:24 And he took all the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obededom, and the treasures of the king’s house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.

Joash captured King Amaziah and then marched into Jerusalem which was left undefended and broke down about 600 feet of the wall that was there for protection against the enemies of Judah.

Joash was not satisfied with these things and he then looted the house of God, the Temple of all it’s gold and valuables and he then looted the King’s palace, and he then took the King and other hostages and went back to Samaria, his own capitol city.

Amaziah’s arrogance had costs Judah greatly and also impeded the worship of the One true God!

*****2Ch 25:25 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ch 25:26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, are they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?

After Amaziah was allowed to return to Jerusalem, he lived another 15 years but we find not one other thing that he accomplished in all that time.

Amaziah had a great opportunity to do good for his nation, after ridding them of the terrorists of Edom.

He could have done many things worthwhile but he chose to leave the One True God and worship the falseness of idols, and false gods.

The truth is we have a president who had a great opportunity to do good for all Americans but especially those of his own color but he turned to false gods and has tried his best to remove the One True God from the eye of the public.

America has suffered greatly and may not ever recover.

Judah suffered greatly and truly never recovered from the time of this king.

But the same thing holds true for us all when we fail to seize the opportunities that God has given us.

Great opportunities almost never present themselves again in our lives!

The truth is that we age a little everyday and we all reach a point to where we are not much use to God. Now He does not abandon us, but we have certainly missed many benefits of serving Him if we miss the opportunities He has provided to each of us before that time comes.

But how many opportunities have we missed with our children because we felt like work was more important.

How many opportunities have we missed in our family because we chose other things instead.

How many things have we missed out on because we chose a life of sin in our younger days.

How much damage have we done to our bodies because we chose drugs, or drink, or the many other sins instead of the opportunity to live a moral life.

Many of those still out in the world are like King Amaziah and they will go to their grave without one good thing to be remembered for left behind them.

It will be as though they accomplished nothing as what this king was remembered for was nothing except that he had been king and had no legacy at all.

But that was not all.

*****2Ch 25:27 Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.
2Ch 25:28 And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.

Amaziah discovered a plot against his life and he fled to no avail and he was assassinated.

His life was ended while he was still in his prime years but he was a nothing that died still being a nothing.

What is the truth?

In verse 16 we read that he knew that God had already determined to destroy King Amaziah because he led Judah into false worship.

It is very true that God will punish all sin but without a doubt when a national leader goes against God and leads the people away from God the results can certainly be deadly!

When national leaders reject the Word of God or twist it to mean something entirely different from God’s intent, they are walking on perilous ground.

Oba 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Oba 1:4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

Those that conspired against Amaziah proved these things were over by bringing the dead body of Amaziah back to Jerusalem.

The only way to escape the wrath of God is by Jesus Christ and that takes a heart that dwells on the truth of the Word of God.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

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