Beware Overkill

“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart…

“Then Amaziah assembled the men of Judah and set them by fathers’ houses under commanders of thousands and of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He mustered those twenty years old and upward,.. 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. And they became very angry with Judah and returned home in fierce anger. But Amaziah took courage and led out his people and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 men of Seir… But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, not letting them go with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 people in them and took much spoil.” 2 Chronicles 25:2,5-11,13

Amaziah prepared meticulously, but got swept up in bolstering his strength with men over God. Readying his offenses against the enemy, he neglected to seek the Lord’s counsel, and over-planned. Although he then trimmed back at God’s command and triumphed in battle, he suffered the consequences of his foolishness.

How kind of God to intervene! How gracious His redirection! Amaziah had been charging forward in self-prescribed efforts, but by God’s grace was willing to change course at His command. The Lord was more interested in his heart than his success, that he be strong and courageous while trusting His power. He wanted this good but half-hearted king to believe wholeheartedly in His ability. He worked through both his military acumen and overkill to teach king Amaziah who really reigned.

The Lord calls us to make wise plans, to fortify life and faith. But we are to seek and adhere to His wisdom in doing so. Bold courage is an asset, but building strategy and security according to men apart from God’s leading is never prudent. When we are adamant about driving ourselves in our way, we miss out on the much more that God could give and do for us, and His resultant glory. (Proverbs 16:3,9; 21:30; Ephesians 3:20-21)

What manifestation of God’s power has been overshadowed by over-controlling my environment and defenses? What areas of my life have I failed to surrender absolutely to God’s control? How well do my actions prove my trust in Him with my family, my business, my future?

Father, help me seize every assignment You give with both zeal and spiritual wisdom, according to Your best plans. Take the lead, so You take all the glory.

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