From Need to Heed to Greed

Then Amaziah assembled the men of Judah and set them under commanders of thousands and of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin… 300,000 choice men, fit for war, able to handle spear and shield. He hired also 100,000 mighty men of valor from Israel for 100 talents of silver. But a man of God came to him and said, ‘O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel, with all these Ephraimites. But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.’ And Amaziah said to the man of God, ‘But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?’ The man of God answered, ‘The Lord is able to give you much more than this.’ Then Amaziah discharged the army that had come to him from Ephraim to go home again… Amaziah took courage and led out his people and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 men of Seir…

“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 and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, ‘Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?’ 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.’” 2 Chronicles 25:5-11,14-16

King Amaziah prepared for war in his own wisdom, but when confronted by a man of God, was willing to heed his counsel and take courage in God’s promised ability. But once he tasted royal victory, his appetite for self-indulgence became all-consuming. How quickly he set aside God, whose strategy and power had won his conquest, for gods of men.

Taipei market w gods

In times of imminent need, we can readily appeal to the Almighty, or at least take His help or spiritual advice. If we are desperate, and His solutions meet our urgency, we rally to trust His power and ability and relish the victory. But how quickly God’s glory dims in the false shine of our own pomp. How soon we can forget the One and ones who came alongside to assist, protect, encourage, and strengthen, and begin to amass our own trinkets of remembrance and conquest. The adrenaline of heady success pumps foolish pride through our veins, leading to compromise and misaligned devotion.

Where have I cried for help, then become intoxicated with the power given? Do I heed godly counsel only when it pleases me, but shun it when I can’t have my own way? Any false god, even that of my own control and passions, will bring ruin to fellowship and peace.

Father, may I be whole-hearted in my seeking and heeding, and always give all glory to You for Your magnificent supply.


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