Ahaziah Forsakes the LORD

Forsaking the LORD 3

As we read through 2 Chronicles we continue to see the moral judgments that are written about each of the kings of Judah. They are good or bad depending upon their faithfulness to God and His covenant. Chapter 25 picks up the story with the reign of Amaziah of Judah, the son of Joash. He reigned from 796 B.C. to 767 B.C. although through the larger part of this he was co-regent with his son Uzziah (792 to 767). 

After his father had abandoned the house of the LORD and served the Asherim and idols (Baal), Ahaziah begins as a godly king. "He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with his whole heart" (25:2). By trusting in the LORD he is able to gain victories over various enemy armies. Sometimes victory can lead to defeat on a different level and so it was with Ahaziah.

"After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them.  Therefore the LORD was angry with Amaziah " (25:14-15).  It is amazing, bewildering, and sad to watch as men start out serving God and then forsake Him for worthless idols.

God yet again shows patience and restraint by sending a warning before He sends judgment. The prophet reproves the king saying: "Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?” (25:15). The people of that age considered such wars to be a show of strength of the gods they worshiped. (reread 1 Kings 20:13-28). If you won, it was your god that won.  If you lost then maybe it was time to get a new god. This time Ahaziah won because the LORD was his God. Yet, he exchanges the LORD for worthless gods of the Edomites!  Even according to their faulty theology about the gods this was a dumb move! He had seen the end of his father's reign as it crumbled because he abandoned the LORD for idols. Yet now he follows in the same path.

As so often happens, the messenger gets persecuted even though the message came from God. The king actually interrupts the prophet of God and threatens him: "But as he was speaking, the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” So the prophet stopped, but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel” (25:16). 

Having made a bad decision to serve idols and having been warned of God, the refusal of the king to turn back to the LORD can only bring judgment. The prophet responds: "I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel" (25:16).  Amaziah then was routed in a battle with Joash king of Israel. Though he lived 15 more years after this, there are no worthy accomplishments as a king.

What could have been if he had only been faithful to the LORD! We see yet again the fulfillment of God's warning: "The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you" (2 Chron. 15:2). Faithfulness to God is not just a good beginning but a race that is run to the end.  "Be faithful unto death" (Rev. 2:10).