Shall we turn now in our Bibles to II Chronicles, chapter twenty-four, as we continue our trek through the word of God.
The kingdom of Israel, the northern kingdom, has polluted the southern kingdom through an affinity that was made between Ahab and the Jehoshaphat. The daughter of Ahab married the son of Jehoshaphat and the nation experienced a real moral, spiritual decline. Ahaziah was killed in a action of Jehu, who became the king of the northern territory of Israel, and his queen mother, Athaliah began to reign. She was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and now she is reigning in the southern kingdom of Judah.
She put to death all of the princes, all of the heir apparents, or claimants to the throne with the exception of this one little fellow Joash, who was hid by his nurse there in the temple. He was raised in the temple by Jehoiada the priest, until he was seven years old. Then Jehoiada got the priests and the people together and said, “The throne really belongs to David by the decree of God. Here is a descendant of David”. And, they agreed to crown him as king, when he was seven years old.
So, Joash was crowned as the king over Judah. Athaliah, hearing the tumult, came to find out what was going on. When she saw that Joash was wearing the crown, and the people were hailing him as the king, she cried, “Treason!”. But, they ordered her to be put to death.
Now, a seven year old boy becomes just a puppet upon the throne. The real leader is Jehoiada the priest. So under this godly influence there were spiritual reforms. The temple that was built by Athaliah, for Baal was destroyed, the priest of the temple was killed. In chapter twenty four now we read that…
Joash was just seven years old when he began to reign, he reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all of the days of Jehoiada the priest (24:1-2).
As long as Jehoiada lived, and he did live a long time, a hundred and thirty years, but as long as Jehoiada lived, under the influence of this priest, who more or less raised him as his own son, Joash was faithful to the Lord, he was a good king.
And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters. Now it came to pass after this, that Joash the king was wanting to repair the house of the Lord. And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and he said to them, Go out into the cities of Judah, gather of all Israel the money to strengthen the house of your God from year to year, [The word “repair” there in each verse, is a different Hebrew word. The one means, “to repair”, verse four, as we think of it, the other is, “to strengthen”, in verse five. “The house of your God from year to year”,] and see that you hasten the matter. But howbeit the Levites hastened not (24:3-4).
So here is the young king, and he’s wanting to see the repairs made unto the house of the Lord, under the period of spiritual decline. Under Amaziah, and Athaliah the temple actually went into a state of disrepair. When they built the temple to Baal, they more or less sacked the temple that had been built by Solomon, taking stones from it, and taking doors and so forth, and using it in the temple of Baal.
So now, this young king Joash, of course he’s older now, he’s married now. But he sees the temple of God and it’s in a state of disrepair, and he feels that they should just go ahead and repair it. So he comes to the priests, which would be logical, and he said, “As you go throughout the land, gather from the people”, as Moses commanded in the law, “gather them the money that we might bring it in and repair the house of the Lord”. But a time went by, and there was nothing done. The priests did not act upon the commandment of the king.
And so the king called Jehoiada [his friend] the chief, and he said to him, Why have you not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the Lord, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness? [“Why haven’t you done it? I ordered you to do it, why hasn’t it been done?”] For [And of course, and this is a commentary made by the writer.] the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God: and also all of the dedicated things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim (24:6-7).
So the wicked sons had, of Athaliah, the princes of the land, had destroyed the house of the Lord, using it to build the temple to Baalim. And the king’s commandment…
And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and they set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. And so they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the Lord the collection that Moses the servant of God had laid upon Israel in the wilderness. And all of the princes, and all of the people rejoiced, and they brought in and cast into the chest, until they had made an end (24:8-10).
It is interesting how that when a people, given opportunity, they always responded in their desire to develop a place to worship God. You remember in the wilderness when Moses was going to build the tabernacle, and all of the instruments for the tabernacle, with the gold and the silver, and so forth, that they announced to the people of Israel, “Now bring in your gold and the silver, your offerings, that we might build this tabernacle to the Lord”. The people gave in such abundance, that they finally had to say, “Hold it! Hold it! That’s enough, we don’t need anymore. We’ve got all that we need to do the work”. The same was true in the gathering of the funds for the building of the temple. There was an abundance. Now again, the people given opportunity, respond as they are notified that, “We want to repair the house of the Lord, the place to worship God”. And, so this chest was set out each day, and then they would bring it in at night, and they would count the money. Soon they had sufficient to go ahead with the work.
“And all of the princes and all the people rejoiced as they gave.” That’s the only way that a person should give to God. In the New Testament, it declares that, “Our giving should never be out of constraint”. It should never be out of pressure. It is absolutely wrong for a man to stand up before you and seek to constrain you, or pressure you to give to God. That is not scriptural, in fact that is unscriptural.
The scriptural way of giving is, “Let each one purpose in his own heart, and so let him give, because God loves a cheerful”, or in the Greek, “a hilarious giver”. So your giving should always be with rejoicing. With joy, with hilarity, as we give to God. It should be something from your heart that you give freely with thanksgiving, just loving it that you can give to God. But never, never out of pressure! Not because someone is up there and, haranguing you, pressuring you, constraining you. That’s unscriptural. “So the people rejoiced, they brought in, they cast in the chest.”
Now it came to pass, when the chest was brought into the king’s office by the hand of the Levites, when they saw that there was much money, the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and they emptied the chest, they took it, and carried it to the place again. Thus they did day by day, and they gathered money in abundance. [Evening, they come in and dump the money in the treasury, and then set the box out there again the next day.] And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the Lord, so they hired the carpenters and the masons, and those that would repair the house of the Lord, and also such as wrought in iron and brass to mend the house of the Lord. So the workmen wrought, and the work was completed by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it. And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the Lord, vessels to minister, to offer, with the spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered the burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada (24:11-14).
So the temple worship was restored, the temple itself, was restored. There was a outward spiritual movement.
But Jehoiada waxed old, was full of days when he died; at hundred and thirty years old. And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and towards the Lord’s house (24:15-16).
That’s a great commendation for the man. “He did good for the Lord, and towards the Lord’s house.”
But after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah made obeisance to the king. And the king hearkened to them (24:17).
Joash evidently was a weak man, easily influenced. As long as Jehoiada was alive, exercising spiritual influence over him, he did well. They initiated the spiritual reforms, they had instituted afresh the worship of the house of God. But as soon as Jehoiada died, the princes of Judah came to him, and did obeisance to him, and no doubt, requested that they be allowed to again establish the worship of Ashtoreth, and idols.
For they left the house of Jehovah God of their fathers, and they served the Ashorem and the idols: and the wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their trespass. Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear (24:18-19).
So at the death of Jehoiada, there was an immediate spiritual nose-dive. Strange indeed how that the people can often be serving God on the surface, but in their hearts there’s still idolatry. That concerns me very deeply. We have seen, even in our lifetime, certain spiritual movements. Where it became sort of the in thing. “The Jesus People”, the in thing to say, “I’m a Christian”, or “I’m born again”. We had all kinds of people claiming to be born again. It was a movement. But in many cases, only shallow, only surface. In their hearts there was still idolatry.
As soon as the movement passed, so many fell right back into the old patterns of the old life, and began to worship Ashorem, and their idols once again. Such was the case in Judah. In the hearts of the princes, though they you know, went along with the system, as soon as Jehoiada died, they came and, and asked the king that they might reinstitute the worship of Ashorem, which was the worship of the female sex goddess. The Ashtoreth of the Ashtar or the Venus of the Greeks. “The prophets came and they began to prophesy against the wickedness, but they would not give ear.”
And the spirit of God came upon Zechariah who was the son of [this godly priest] Jehoiada [That had raised Joash. So Zechariah was probably a contemporary, well older, he would’ve been older than Joash, but yet, well known to Joash, because he is the son of Jehoiada.] and Zechariah came, and he stood above the people, and he said to them, Thus saith God, Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, that you cannot prosper? because you have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you (24:20).
So the question. “Why do something in which you can never prosper?” Forsaking God, you’ll never prosper, if you forsake the Lord. “Why would you take this path in which you cannot prosper?” Jesus said, “What would it prosper a man”, or “profit a man, if he would gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Going after worldliness can never bring you spiritual prosperity. “Why would you do it?”, he said. And, “Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you”.
Now they conspired against him, and they stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the Lord (24:21).
So as this prophet, Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, prophesied against what the people were doing, this king Joash, who had instituted the spiritual reforms and all, ordered him to be stoned to death by the people.
And thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had don unto him, but he slew his son. And when Zechariah was dying, he said, The Lord look upon it, and require it (24:22).
A little different from Stephen, when he was stoned. You know when Zechariah was dying, he sort of said, “God get even with them. Take care of them”. But we remember when they were stoning Stephen in the new testament, as he was dying, he said, “Lord lay not this sin to their charge. Receive my spirit”. Of course he had the example of Jesus.
On Thursday night, we’ll be looking at this portion, where as they placed Him on the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”, the first words of the cross. Then, the last word of the cross is, “Father, into thy hand I commend my spirit”. Stephen, in his stoning, took the first and the last words of the cross. “Father don’t lay this sin to their charge. Into your hands I commend my spirit.” But, not so with Zechariah. Of course the Old Testament prophets were cut from a different cloth. I like em’! I can identify with them! I can identify with David as he prays for those enemies of God, “Do not I hate them that hate thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred!” Then he says, “Break their teeth in their mouth, smash their noses”, you know. I can dig that! I find it hard to turn the other cheek, and yet, because my Lord commanded me to, I do. But that’s what submission is all about.
You see, it, submission isn’t doing what you want to do. It’s doing what you don’t want to do. That’s when it’s submission. It’s when you don’t want to do it, and you do it. That’s submission. I find myself submitting to the Lord a lot. My old nature is just as corrupt as yours! I mean, so he cried out, “Lord look upon it, and require it. Hold them”.
So it came to pass at the end of the year, [That spiritual decline, and at the end of the year,] that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, [These princes that had come to the king and asked that they might again reinstitute the worship of the Ashorem, they were killed by the Syrians.] and they sent all of the spoil of them unto Damascus. [The Lord did require it of them.] For the army of the Syrians came with just a small company of men, and the Lord delivered a very great host into their hand because they had forsaken Jehovah God of their fathers (24:23-24).
So the host of the Syrians actually, were executing God’s judgement against Judah. So here it is. God is gonna judge these princes for their evil. What does He do? He brings Syria as His instrument of judgement. God often times uses another nation to bring judgement upon His own people. Now many times the people of God find that difficult when God uses a more wicked nation, as His instrument of judgement. It would be if God would use Russia today, as an instrument of judgement against the United States. We’d say, “But God they’re godless atheists!”.
Well, I often times wonder just what is worse. Being an avowed atheist, or avowing to believe in God, but living as though God did not exist. I often think that it is a worse blasphemy to say, “Well I believe in God”, and yet live your entire life as though God did not exist. Ignoring God! Then just to say, “Well I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in God”.
When God told Habakkuk that He was going to use the Babylonians as His instruments of judgement against Judah, Habakkuk said, “But Lord! They’re more wicked than we are! Is that right?” God often times uses the enemies of His people as His instruments of judgement, and thus was the case. Syria came, just a small group of Syrians, but God delivered the host of Judah into the hand of this small band of Syrians. For God had forsaken them. They had forsaken God, the prophet said, “and thus the Lord has forsaken you”.
It is wrong to think that our country is strong because we have great military technicians, because we have modern instruments of war. Because we have a few good men. The country is strong, as it trusts in God. A nation that forsakes God has really no strength. That is why I’m so deeply concerned for our nation today. We are misinterpreting our history. We are saying, “Our nation is strong because of our free enterprise system”. I hear so many cries for the return of the free enterprise system, as we see the weakening of our economy. “Our nation is strong because it is a democracy.” No. Our nation is strong because our founding fathers sought God, and founded the nation upon godly principles. That was the secret of the strength.
But it is always true, if you forsake God, He will forsake you, and God forsook them, and thus a small band of Syrians was able to overtake them, and was able to take the spoil and carry it back to Damascus. So they were the instruments to execute God’s judgement against Joash.
And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great [stresses] diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and they slew him while he was in bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings (24:25).
So here’s the fellow that had every opportunity to go down in history as one of the great kings. Grew up under the influence of Jehoiada the priest, under his influence, improved the temple’s conditions, reestablished the temple worship, could’ve gone down in history as one of the great kings. But at the death of Jehoiada, the old nature that was there, began to reveal itself. Thus he is not even buried in a place of honor.
And these are the names of the fellows that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath who was an Ammonitess, [his mother] and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith who was a Moabitess. Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens that were laid upon him, and the repairing in the house of God, they are written in the story of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son began to reign in his stead.
Amaziah was twenty five years old when he began to reign, he reigned for twenty nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not completely. [He was you know, sort of so-so.] Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, [You know whenever you have an assassination, there was always that turmoil, and it takes a little while for the new government to really get entrenched. You don’t know who your friends are, and who your enemies are at the beginning. So as soon as he was firmly established,] he then slew the servants that had killed the king his father. But he did not slay their children, but followed the law of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers [won’t] shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin. And moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and he made them captains over the thousands, and over the hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all of Judah and Benjamin: he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and he found that there were three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle the spear and the shield (25:1-5).
So he had an army of three hundred thousand men, when he drafted all of the able-bodied men.
So he also hired a hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for a hundred talents of silver. But there came a man of God to him, and said, O king, don’t let the army of Israel go with you; for the Lord is not with Israel, or with all of the children of [Israel] Ephraim. But if you will go, go ahead, do it, be strong for the battle: And God shall make thee fall before the enemy: [Or, God, “If you, if you go ahead and do it, God will cause you to fall before the enemy”.] for God hath power to help, and God hath power to cast down (25:6-8).
So, “Don’t take these fellows with you. If you do, God will let you fall before the enemy. Because God can help you, and God can let you down”. Very, very true.
And Amaziah said, But I’ve already paid the guys a hundred talents of silver, what shall I do? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give you much more than this. [“Just trust the Lord!”] So Amaziah separated them, the army that had 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 guys didn’t like being dismissed. They were hungry to go into battle, because of course, in battle in those days, you always took the spoils from the enemy. They were probably hoping to get a lot more than just what they were paid. “And going home in anger.”] Amaziah strengthened himself, and he led his people, and they went to the valley of salt, [Which of course is the area of the Dead sea, and it’s still a valley of salt, there on the southern end.] and he smote the children of Seir [Mount Seir, or the Edomites.] ten thousand of them. And the other ten thousand the kept alive and carried away captive, they brought them to the top of the rock, and then they threw them over from the top of the rock, and they were all broken in pieces (25:9-12).
So they took them up on the cliff and just tossed them all over. Horrible thing, but war is war. You know that is one of the horrors. I, I really, I, I personally have an extreme difficulty with the capacity of cruelty in man. Warfare and all, I mean there is, within man, a capacity of great cruelty to fellow man! I have a hard time with that. I can’t imagine treating a fellow human being in such a manner. I mean, I don’t care what it is, if they’re a human, fellow human being just because they’re of a different nationality or something, just to you know, want to go out and bash. I can’t, I can see reasons for bashing, but when there aren’t those reasons, then I can’t understand the bashing.
And so the soldiers of the army which Amaziah sent back, [That is, those from the mercenaries from Israel.] they fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Bethoron, [As they were going home, those northern cities.] and they smote three thousand people and they took a lot of spoil. [Of course the men had all gone off with, with uh, Joash, with Amaziah to the war, so there weren’t that many men left to defend the cities.] 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 mount Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and he bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them (25:13-14).
You say, “How in the world can a person turn his back upon the living God and do such a thing? How is it that a person would bow to an idol”? Having destroyed the Edomites, now he brings back their gods, and he bows down to their gods and worships them. We find that rather inconceivable until we understand who their gods were.
They were worshiping the gods of fertility. They were worshiping them with licentious, sexual rights. They were worshiping the gods of power, they were worshiping the gods of money, they were worshiping the gods of intellect. Now do you have such a hard time understanding why they turned from the living God? There’s a tremendous draw in the heart of man for power. There’s a tremendous drive in man for money. Of course there’s a tremendous drive for sexual pleasures, and these were the gods of the heathen that they were turning to. But they weren’t worshiping, they were just giving themselves over to sexual indulgences. Giving themselves over to worshiping the intellect, or gaining power, gaining money.
Today, these are the very gods that people turn to when they turn from following Jesus Christ, or turn from the true and the living God, it’s usually to turn after, and they turn because of some sexual excitement, or attraction, or because they get so busy making money, that God gets sort of shuttled out of their lives, or they get so filled with possessions, that their weekends soon, are taken up with their new boat, their new hang gliders, or this, or that, or the other. God gets shuttled aside, as pleasure begins to rule their lives.
Now, we are sophisticated to the point that we don’t have a little idol and say, “That’s my god, that’s pleasure, the god of pleasure”. You see, we don’t make an idol, but we think that just because we don’t have an idol, then we’re not really worshiping it. But we’re more deceived than they are, at least they were honest! You see it is sort of dishonest to disclaim the worshiping of another God, when yet pleasure masters my life, or the desire for pleasure masters my life. So, “The king brought back the gods of the Edomites, and bowed down and began to burn incense unto them”.
And therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of [their, out of,] your hand? [“I mean, their gods evidently are empty, not powerful at all! Why would you deliver, why would you forsake the living God, and follow after these gods?”] So it came to pass, as he talked with the king, that the king said to him, Who asked you to counsel me? [“You better shut up.”] for why should you be smitten? [In other words, “If you don’t shut up man, you’re gonna get it. You’re gonna be smitten.”] And then the prophet did shut up and said, I know that God hath determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and you haven’t hearkened to my counsel. [“Buddy, you’ve picked your path. It is destruction.”] Then Amaziah the king of Judah took advice, [Advice probably from his counselor said, “Man those mercenaries you know, they ripped up those cities, and they took some spoil. Let’s, you know, we’re strong, we just wiped out the Edomites, let’s go, and let’s teach Israel a lesson”.] so he sent unto Joash the king of Israel a message and said, Come, let’s see one another in the face. [“Let’s face off man!”] So Joash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah the king of Judah and he said, The thistle [A thorny plant] that was in Lebanon sent to the big cedar tree of Lebanon, and it said, I want your daughter for my son as his wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and he tramped down the thistle (25:15-18).
It’s just sort of trying to speak in a parabolic kind of a way. It wasn’t a very good analogy. But it was just, “Hey, you’re like a little thistle man. You’re coming to the cedar tree, and just a wild beast is able to trample you! You don’t have any, you know you’re not in the same league. You’re not in the same league with us”.
So you say, Lo, you have smitten the Edomites; and your heart now is lifted up to boast: you better just stay at home; for why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you (25:19)?
So the king is trying to uh, conciliate him. He doesn’t really want to go to war. He is saying to Amaziah, “Look, you’ve had victory over the Edomites, be satisfied man! You think you’re tough, you think you’re strong. You really better just stay home and enjoy, and savor the victory that you have. Because, if you meddle, you’re gonna get hurt. “And why should you meddle to your own hurt?”
Great question. Surely it’s a question that we should consider any time we are tempted to meddle around with sin. How many times are we tempted just to mess around with sinful pleasures, to dabble in the area of sin? To meddle with alcohol, to meddle with drugs, to meddle with sex, these things that can destroy us.
The king said, “Why is it that you meddle to your own hurt, that you should fall, you should be destroyed, and Judah with you? Taking down others with you”.
But Amaziah would not listen; for the whole issue really was of God, for God was seeking to deliver Judah into the hand of their enemies, because they had turned from him and sought the gods of the Edomites. So Joash the king of Israel went up; and they met each other in the face [face to face] he and Amaziah at Bethshemesh, [Which is around twelve miles from Jerusalem, fifteen miles.] which belongs 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 the king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, and he brought him to Jerusalem, and he broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits. [Or six hundred feet.] He took all the gold, the silver, the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obededom, and he took the treasures of the king’s house, and he took hostages also, and he returned to Samaria (25:20-24).
So notice he first of all lost part of his defenses. Six hundred feet of the wall was broken down. Then he lost his treasures, and then the people were taken captive. Thus is often the result of meddling. Meddling around with sex, or with booze, or whatever, you lose part of your defenses. It’s an amazing thing how that the drugs attack first of all, your will to resist.
So the moment you introduce drugs into your system, they begin to attack that, that area of your brain that gives you the capacity of resisting. Once they destroy your resisting power, man you’ve had it. You’re gone! Those who are drug addicts actually have no power to resist. It’s been destroyed by the drug. It’s insidious, in that it does that. The same with alcohol. Your resistance, gone, your defenses are gone. Thus you become very quickly, the captive. You become very quickly bound by your appetites. The slave to your appetites. “And then he took the treasures.” Meddling around with sin, you lose valuable treasure. The treasure of innocence.
Oh as I look at my grandchildren, I see these precious little kids, so innocent. I think what a beautiful thing it is! But you know, it’s sad. It’s a corrupt, rotten world, and innocence is so soon lost. The children in the neighborhood, coming over, saying naughty words and all, and, and, and all of a sudden, these pure little minds become polluted from the world. Our two little granddaughters today, went in, as we were in the restaurant, went into the restroom. As they came back, they said, “There was some writing on the wall, but we won’t tell you what it…”, but see they’re old enough now to read. As soon as they’re old enough to read, then there is that, again loss of innocence, just because someone has such a cruddy, filthy mind, that they would write dirty words on a restroom wall. A man’s ambition must be small if he writes his name on a restroom wall. It just, the loss of innocence, purity.
Then, taken captive, the hostages. How Satan loves to take a person captive. Hostages are usually held against their will, and Satan holds people even against their will. Paul wrote to Timothy, and he said, “That we might take them from the captivity of the enemy who has taken them captive against their wills”. Satan does not fight fairly. He’s not interested in a fair fight. Don’t expect to have him abide by the rules. The bible says, “The god of this world has blinded their eyes, that they cannot see the truth”. He doesn’t mind blinding you to the truth! He doesn’t mind holding you as a captive, as a hostage!
But thank God, Jesus Christ came, to set at liberty those that were captive, and to open the prison house to those that are bound! The power of Jesus Christ, can break the hold that Satan has on your life. When Jesus called Paul the apostle, to preach the gospel unto the Gentiles, He said, “To deliver them from the power of darkness, and the power of Satan”. That’s what the gospel is all about, freeing people from the power of darkness.
Amaziah the son of Joash the king of Judah lived after the death of Joash of Jehoahaz the king of Israel fifteen years. The rest of the acts of Amaziah, the first and the last, behold, they’re 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 they slew him there. And they brought him upon the horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah (25:25-28).
So, Amaziah also was assassinated. Didn’t pay really to have a losing record as a king. People didn’t appreciate that! They uh, often assassinated a king after a defeat in battle. So here he was victorious over the Edomites, every body was praising him. He picks a fight with Joash, he starts to meddle around in spite of the fact that he was warned not to. But you see, a man who won’t listen to God, usually won’t listen to anybody else. When the prophet of God came to him, and warned him saying, “Hey man you shouldn’t turn away from God and serve these idols”, he said, “Shut up man, or you’ll get hit!”, you know, he wouldn’t listen to God.
Now, the king warns him, “Don’t meddle”, he won’t listen to the king. Headstrong people can get into trouble. How important it is that we learn to listen to God, and that we heed what God says, we hearken unto the voice of the Lord. We’re gonna stop here for this evening.
May the Lord be with you, and may this be a week of accentuated spiritual growth. May God do a special work in your heart, and in your life this week. May we, each of us, truly seek the Lord in a greater way. Spending more time with Him. If we are tempted to meddle, some temptation comes along, and you’re tempted to meddle, may the Spirit of God, get hold of your heart and life, and show you what are the possible consequences of that meddling. How it will only bring hurt and pain. God help us that we won’t meddle this week with things that can only hurt. May we walk with the Lord in full fellowship and love, and may we become the men and the women, that God wants us to be. Men and women living in fellowship with their creator, in union with God, in harmony with His purposes. And, thus may we be His instruments to turn this world right side up. God bless you, and make it a special week, in Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7138