Today: [2 Kings Chapter Fourteen] Accepting the Logos and Rejecting the Rhema. In this chapter we learn about Amaziah the current king in Judah. He had great respect for the scriptures but little respect for the words of the prophets. As a result his kingdom was confirmed but nonetheless he did not prosper and was assassinated as a result. It is important to understand that God’s word is a two edged sword including the eternal and unchanging scripture and the relative and subjective words of the prophets. You must have both or you leave yourself vulnerable and at a loss for all that God would do in your life.
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[2Ki 14:1-29 KJV] 1 In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah. 2 He was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name [was] Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 3 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did. 4 Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places. 5 And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father. 6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin. 7 He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day.
The next king of Jerusalem is Amaziah. All of the kings of Judah were in the line of David as God had promised that there would not fail a son of David to sit upon the throne in Jerusalem. The kings of the northern kingdom began with Jeroboam the son of Nebat who was a servant of Solomon. However the line of kings in Samaria was not patrilineal. There were many intriques and revolts and assassinations that caused the throne of Samaria to be passed through many family lines. The current family line at the time of Amaziah in the south is that of Jehu. God promised Jehu that his children to their fourth generation would sit upon the throne in Samaria because Jehu was faithful to remove Ahab’s line from rule and to execute Jezebel. The current northern king is the second from Jehu (Joash – Jehu’s grandson).
Amaziah in the south is recorded to have “done that which was right in the sight of the Lord…” though “not as his father David”. In other words he was a reasonably good king but he was no king David. His father was assassinated by servants in the royal house and Amaziah showed great restraint in waiting till his rule was solidified before punishing the offenders. In a remarkable sign of constraint he did not punish the children of the murders because the law of Moses forbade such acts. It was customary in those days to wipe out whole family lines in such matters but Amaziah had respect to the law of Moses and declined to seek that level of revenge.
Amaziah was also a warlike king and pursued aspirations to greater glory and was a man of war – going up against Edom (the descendants of Esau) killing ten thousand of them in one battle. Apparently this great victory inspired him with delusions of grandeur. He plans to go to war against the northern tribes and to reunite the divided kingdom. There is only one problem with this – God had instigated the break off of the northern tribes because of Solomon’s idolatry. Furthermore God had promised to preserve the reign of Jehu’s seed to their fourth generation which was still in the process of fulfillment. In choosing to fight against Jehoash the king in Samaria he was fighting against God.
8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face. 9 And Jehoash the 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. 10 Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory [of this], and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to [thy] hurt, that thou shouldest fall, [even] thou, and Judah with thee? 11 But Amaziah would not hear. Therefore Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Bethshemesh, which [belongeth] to Judah. 12 And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents. 13 And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Bethshemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate, four hundred cubits. 14 And he took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria. 15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 16 And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his stead. 17 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years. 18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Amaziah had respect to the law of Moses but he didn’t have respect to the words of the prophets. He ignored the promise of God to preserve Jehu’s line in the north. This is more common than we might think. Today in Christian culture the word of God – the bible is much set by (at least in theory) but the idea of prophet’s in the land is almost universally rejected. Amaziah got the first half of 2 Chron. 20:20 implemented in his life – he believed in the Lord and he was established. However he did not believe in the prophets therefore he did not prosper. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is a two edged sword. This is more than romantic imagery. The word is the LOGOS (the infallible, objective truth of the scriptures which never changes) and the RHEMA (the subjective, provisional and conditional words of the prophets). We must have both in our lives or we will suffer unnecessarily. The word of the prophets without the solidity of the scriptures causes our lives to be lived out on a roller coaster of subjective application of perceived prophetic direction. However to embrace the scripture yet reject the prophetic causes us to suffer a deep contradiction in our lives between God’s promise and our experience. We must have both the unchanging word of God found in the scriptures and the subjective yet necessary guidance of the prophetic to bring us to necessary breakthrough.
Amaziah is defeated by Samaria and is brought in chains from the battlefield back to Jerusalem. As a punishment 500 yards of the wall around Jerusalem is destroyed leaving the city vulnerable to attack. In addition all the gold and silver in the temple is removed and taken to Bethel to serve before the golden calf abomination there. What is the lesson? When you reject the prophetic you leave yourself open to attack. Walls of protection are absent when you despise the prophets. All the gold and silver is taken because if you reject the prophetic, even the prophetic words given over the lives of others you will suffer unnecessarily. Because Azariah erred in this manner he flees the city and is soon assassinated and buried with his fathers.
19 Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there. 20 And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David. 21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which [was] sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah. 22 He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. 23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, [and reigned] forty and one years. 24 And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 25 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which [was] of Gathhepher. 26 For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, [that it was] very bitter: for [there was] not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel. 27 And the LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. 28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, [which belonged] to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, [even] with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead.
In the northern kingdom of Samaria the next king is Jeroboam the son of Joash, the third in the line of Jehu. Jeroboam was named after the first king of the northern tribes and true to his name he does that which is evil in the sight of the Lord. Now Elisha is dead but Jonah is contemporary which Jehu’s line of heirs to the throne in Samaria. A little known fact that Jonah was in the sons of the prophets during the time of Elisha and in fact had been mentored by Elisha in the fine nuances of prophesying to kings and potentates. Jonah had prophesied that Israel would be relieved of the domination of Syria and even though the current king Jeroboam was evil God still showed mercy to his people Israel. Now remember that the northern tribes were for the most part idolaters. Those that did worship Jehovah did so at the polluted altars at Dan and Bethel before the golden calf that was a replica of the one Aaron made for the people when Moses delayed coming down from the mountain of God. Why would God use a wicked king to spare a wicked people? Because he saw their affliction. Many fundamentalists and conservative believers lament the sin in our land and don’t understand why God does not judge and send punishment. After all have not 50 million children died in our abortion clinics? Has not our secular society mocked and removed God from the public square? Remember this – God’s highest ethic is not judgment but mercy. The shrill and insistent voices of the doom and gloomers may be predicting judgment but notice that they are not volunteering to be recipients of that judgment themselves. Jonah likewise struggled with this issue. He rejoices when God has mercy on Israel but is offended when God shows the same mercy on Ninevah. God is a God of mercy. If we desire to be recipients of the mercy of God we must be willing to show that same mercy to those we don’t approve of.
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