On Finishing Well: Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah

August 20, 2013 at 8:19 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Personal Testimony, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Today I read the stories of three different kings in Judah, all who began well but didn’t finish well.

Joash began to reign when he was only seven years old.  He followed the reign of his evil grandmother Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel, and was a great turn for the better.  Joash was raised by his aunt and his uncle Jehoiada, who was a godly priest.  They raised him and counseled him so that he began as a godly king.  “Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem.  . . .  Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.”  (2 Chron 24:1-2 ESV)  Notice however, it was only during the days of Jehoiada.  In fact, “After the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king.  Then the king listened to them.   And they abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols.  And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs.”  (vv17-18)  Joash lost his godly counselor, replaced him with spoiled royal counselors instead, and they persuaded him to abandon the LORD.

Joash’s son Amaziah became the king, and like Joash, he too began a godly reign.  “Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem.   . . .  He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart.” (25:1-2)  It seems Amaziah had an interest in other gods, and that’s why he was never wholeheartedly devoted to the LORD.  “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?'” (vv14-15)

Then Amaziah’s son Uzziah followed the same footsteps.  “Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem.   . . .  He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.”  (26:3-4)  However there was a pride that became his downfall.  “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction.  For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God.” (v16)

One man lost godly counsel, one followed a curiostiy about other gods, one became proud of his successes; none finished well.  Here I am at middle age (a euphimism for getting old but not wanting to admit it!), and I want to finish life strong.  I must let these negative examples instruct me how to do that.  Lord, help me to finish well; may I keep godly counselors around me, may I follow you alone, may I give you glory for any successes that come my way.

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