2 Chronicles 25-28
(Can't Serve Two Masters)
May 11th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

But then the strength and success went to his head. Arrogant and proud, he (Uzziah) fell. One day, contemptuous of God, he walked into The Temple of God like he owned it and took over, burning incense on the Incense Altar.

- 2 Chronicles 26:16 (MSG)

Jotham’s strength was rooted in his steady and determined life of obedience to God.

- 2 Chronicles 27:6 (MSG)

Summary of Chapters

In this set of chapters we read about several generations of kings and the choices they made.

Chapter 25 opens by telling us that Amaziah succeeded his father Joash as king of Judah, the southern kingdom of the divided Israel. On one occasion he chose to serve God rather than money after listening to a man of God who told him not to use troops from the northern kingdom (Israel). Amaziah had already paid the troops, but he was told by a prophet not to worry about it:

    Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about the hundred talents (about 4.5 tons of silver) I paid for these Israelite troops?”

    The man of God replied, “The LORD can give you much more than that.”

    -2 Chronicles 25:9 (NIV)

Amaziah went to battle without his extra hired troops and the LORD handed him the victory. But he brought back false idols as a plunder from war, and worshipped those instead of the LORD – despite the fact that these false idols obviously did nothing to help their previous owners. Therefore, God decided to deliver Amaziah into the hands of the enemy in the next battle and sent a prophet to notify Amaziah: "God has made up his mind to throw you out because of what you've done, and because you wouldn't listen to me (2 Chron 25:16 - MSG)."

Chapter 26 records that Uzziah succeeded his father Amaziah. He began his reign with an obedient attitude towards God, but let his pride take over. He boldly and foolishly went where no king was supposed to go - into the Holy Place reserved for priests. His punishment was a chronic condition of leprosy. This chapter also notes that a history of Uzziah has been recorded by the prophet Isaiah, who was a contemporary of Uzziah. In fact, we will read later that the LORD first called Isaiah during the last year of the reign of Uzziah (Isaiah 6:1).

In chapter 27 we observe that Jotham succeeded his father, Uzziah and “grew powerful because he was steadfastly before the LORD (2 Chron 27:6 - NIV).” Jotham chose to follow the LORD on every occasion recorded in 2 Chronicles.

The account in 2 Chronicles is brief, but the faithfulness of this king is underscored by the final statement indicating that Jotham, “rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David (2 Chron 27:9 - NIV).” The last king before him to have received this honor was Jeosophat, who was six generations before Jotham, as shown above.

Would Jotham’s faithfulness inspire the subsequent generations? Not in the next one, as noted in chapter 28. Ahaz succeeded his father Jotham as king and was very evil. He sacrificed his own children in the fire. He worshipped the idols of the people who defeated him, because he figured that because they had won that their gods must be greater than the LORD. He was unfaithful and unsuccessful. Would there ever be another faithful king?

Reflection and Application

We have choices every day and can choose to follow the true God or follow the false gods of MRP (money, recognition, power, etc.) But we can’t follow both. This is the same choice that Amaziah and the other kings faced. We can earn money, recognition, and authority and also choose to follow God, as long we keep God at the center, make decisions that comply with his commands, and are willing to sacrifice MRP when it conflicts with God’s commands. Amaziah choose to sacrifice his sunk cost of salary to the soldiers in order to follow the word from God’s representative. How much money would we be willing to walk away from if we realized that it conflicted with God’s plan for us?

In the case of Uzziah it was a choice of personal pride over personal responsibility to follow God. He must not have carefully read Deuteronomy and other books that described the separation of duties of the priests and the punishments inflicted on those who disobey. He didn’t know or didn’t care and was drunk with power and pride so he strolled into the temple, ignored the last minute warnings, and began lighting the censors. How often has this happened to us? We become so determined on upholding our reputation and refuse to back down on decisions, even when we are warned. If we choose to follow God, then we must not let pride convince us that we are greater than God, as Uzziah did.

As for Jotham, we did not learn much about him, but the Chronicler reported that "Jotham's strength was rooted in his steady and determined life of obedience to God (2 Chron 27:6-MSG)." Apparently, he chose God over personal preferences on every occasion, or at least for every important one. His son, Ahaz, was also very consistent, but all his decisions were against the will of God and with total disrespect for the true God. He thought that he lost in battle because the false gods were greater then the God of the Israelites, and failed to recognize that it was the LORD who caused him to be defeated by these other powers.

When we succeed, to whom do we assign the credit? When we fail, to whom do we assign the blame? Did we answer God or ourselves to those questions? If we assign the credit to God and the blame to ourselves, then we have chosen loyalty and trust in God over our own pride. If we want to follow God, then we must take responsibility for our own actions and not assume that some other force is greater than God. The choice to follow God or not is one that we have to make every day and perhaps multiple times each day.

For your listening pleasure, click on the You Tube object below for a song by Phillips, Craig and Dean on the topic of choosing to believe - the song is "I Choose to Believe"

"I Choose to Believe," Philips, Craig, and Dean

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What was one of the most difficult decisions that you ever made?
    2. What situations did you have yesterday where you had to choose between God’s way and your way?
    3. How can we establish a pattern of faithfulness for the next generation?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we acknowledge that you are in control of all things. Please help us to throw away our false Gods and embrace you over and over.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    People with chronic diseases of the skin

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 2 Chronicles 29-31 (Huzzah for Hezekiah!)

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