May 17, 2007
II Chronicles 25-27
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- 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.
- And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
- Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father.
- 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.
- 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.
- He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Beth-horon, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- So Joash the king of Israel went up; and they saw one another in the face, both he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Beth-shemesh, which belongeth to Judah.
- And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent.
- And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
- And he took all the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
- And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
- 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?
- 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.
- And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
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- Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
- He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
- Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
- And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.
- And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
- And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
- And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gur-baal, and the Mehunims.
- And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
- Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
- Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.
- Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.
- The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.
- And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
- And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.
- And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
- But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
- And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:
- And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.
- Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.
- And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
- And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
- Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
- So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
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- Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok.
- And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.
- He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
- Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
- He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year, and the third.
- So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.
- Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
- He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
- And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.
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Thought for the day:
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Chapter 26 gives us the story of King Uzziah of Judah. He was a good king who did many wonderful works for the nation.
Verse 5 tells us that this happened because
"he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper."
What a truth this is! It has been repeated throughout the historical books of the Old Testament, but it must be repeated once again: when a man seeks the Lord, the Lord will bless that man. However, the opposite is true as well: when a man stops seeking after God, he will stop receiving the blessings of the Lord. Uzziah continued to progress as a king for many years. His fame spread throughout the countries surrounding him because the Bible says he was "marvelously helped" (
15). Finally God brought him to the place where he became strong (
15). Unfortunately, at that point pride got the best of Uzziah.
Verse 16 states that
"when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the Temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense."
Uzziah had accomplished everything that he could as a king. He had wealth, prestige, and a strong military. Yet there was one thing that he could not do - offer incense in the Temple of God. That job had been given to the priests, and although Uzziah was a great man, he was not a priest, and was thus barred from carrying out that responsibility. However, he was so filled with himself that he determined that he could do whatever he pleased, regardless of the Lord's commands. He went into the Temple to offer the incense, and Azariah the priest and eighty other priests withstood him and informed him that he did not have the right to offer the incense. Rather than repent, Uzziah became angry and attempted to offer the incense anyway. At that moment, God struck him with leprosy, and he had to leave the Temple, for a leper was not to be in there. The end result was that he was cut off from the Temple for the rest of his life (certainly an appropriate penalty) because of his illness (
There are lessons to be learned here. First, stay humble. Remember that it is the Lord Who has allowed you to prosper. He gave us our skills, our minds, our stamina, and our ability to make money. Thus, there is nothing for me to be proud about. Second, be content. Uzziah had everything that a man could want, yet he desired more, and the "more" that he desired was something that he could not lawfully have. How many men have destroyed their lives by chasing after something that was forbidden to them. Once their lives are wrecked, they then admit how foolish they were to have squandered all they had in pursuit of that which God did not intend for them. Third, stand up for what is right. A forgotten hero of this story is Azariah, who stood up to the most powerful man in the kingdom and told him that he was wrong. When Uzziah insisted that he be allowed to offer the incense, Azariah continued to stand firm. He could have stepped aside out of fear for his own life. He could have allowed Uzziah to carry out his plan because it would have been Uzziah's sin and not Azariah's. Yet for the sake of the Lord and for the sake of the king, Azariah did his best to keep the sin from being committed. If we will learn to be humble, content, and steadfast, we will be well on our way to accomplishing much for the cause of Christ.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery