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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 6 - 2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25: Amaziah's Silly Mistake

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God uses a king who cares little for Him to accomplish His purposes.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Amaziah reigned in Judah. He was good, but not like David. He executed his father's assassins. Their children survived in accordance with God's Law.
Amaziah hired soldiers from Israel but God suggested sending them away. Amaziah defeated Seir then installed their gods in his shrines, angering God. God threw Amaziah out.
Amaziah picked a fight with Jehoash, Israel's king. Jehoash defeated Amaziah, looted Jerusalem, and destroyed part of its wall.
Amaziah's servants murdered him. Azariah, his son, reigned.
After Jehoash, his son Jeroboam became king in Israel, continuing to worship at Jeroboam's shrines. God allowed him to extend Israel's borders.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God does not punish children for the sins of their parents, and vice versa.

In Deuteronomy 24, God set the rule that parents and children are not to be executed for the others' sins. Amaziah remembered that aspect of the Law and did not punish the children of his father's conspirators. Parents are not responsible for their (grown) children's mistakes. Children are not responsible for their parents' mistakes.
What does that mean for God's punishments of the people in Canaan, and the families of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, Achan, Baasha, and Ahab? First, we must remember that God's punishments are His punishments and we should not question them because His Reasons may be unknowable to us. Second, God is either punishing the father by having all of his family executed (as in Korah, Dathan, Abiram, Achan and the kings of Israel) or preventing the family from polluting Israel with worship of a foreign god (as with the people of Canaan). This rule is not hard and fast for everything, nor should it be ignored at any convenient time. You did not "inherit" the sins of your ancestors. Your children will (have) not inherit(ed) your sins.

Do not begin worshiping gods who could not protect their former adherents.

Amaziah's treatment of the gods of Seir baffles me. I cannot for the life of me understand why a person would go to war against a people, roundly defeat them, and then take the defeated people's gods and make them their gods. This makes no sense! I'm sure God was similarly surprised by the stupid decision Amaziah made. The only possible explanation is that Seir's gods were more beautiful and/or "freeing." Unfortunately, it led to Amaziah's death.

God used Jeroboam (the younger) to save Israel.

Jeroboam (the younger) did not obey God in any way. God was not impressed with him at all. He continued worshiping the shrines Jeroboam (the older) erected. Yet God used him because "God wasn't yet ready to blot out the name of Israel from history" (2 Kings 14:27). This thought continues the theme found in yesterday's reading. God can use anyone, even those who care little for Him, for His purposes.

Are you worshiping gods who could not protect their former adherents?

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