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24. Judah’s Next Two Kings

October 13, 2010

Text:    II Chronicles 25:1-26:23

Harmony Text:            II Kings 14:1-21; 15:1-7

Outline:           I.     Amaziah; His Good                                 II Chronicles 25:1-10

II.    Amaziah; His Evil                                    II Chronicles 25:11-27

III.  Uzziah; His Good                                       II Chronicles 26:1-15

IV.  Uzziah; His Evil                                          II Chronicles 26:16-23

Context/Discussion/Comments:

These two kings, Amaziah and Azariah [Uzziah] ruled Judah during the same time period as the five kings of Israel discussed in Lesson 23.

Amaziah succeeded Joash as king of Judah when he was 25 years old.  He ruled for 29 years and followed the Lord but not with his whole heart.  When his kingdom was established he executed those who had killed his father but spared their children according to God’s Law.  He organized and built up Judah’s army to 300,000 men.  He even hired 100,000 men from Israel.  A prophet warned him about using Israel’s men because of their idolatry so he broke his contract with them and sent them home.

Amaziah then attacks Edom, killing 20,000 men.  But Israel’s unhappy 100,000 men began to raid Judah, killing 3000 men and plundering Judah’s cities.  Amaziah returned to Jerusalem with Edom’s idols and worshipped them.  A prophet warns Amaziah who becomes angry.  Amaziah wants to meet [fight] with Jehoash over Israel’s raiding parties but Jehoash refuses because Judah is acting with pride and arrogance in fighting Edom for no reason.  God is planning to have Jehoash teach Amaziah a lesson because he turned to idols.  Jehoash attacks Judah, captures Amaziah, and raids Jerusalem and the Temple.  Amaziah lived for 15 years after Jehoash’s death but was forced into exile at Lachish where he was eventually killed all because he refused to follow the Lord in his later years.

Uzziah, Amaziah’s son, is made king at 16 years of age.  He ruled for 52 years, did right in God’s eyes, and followed the Lord.  He listened to Zechariah and the Lord gave him much success.  He fought against the Philistines, expanding Judah’s borders to the west.  The Ammonites paid him tribute and Egypt feared his power.  Uzziah re-fortified Jerusalem, dug wells, and had people working the soil.  One could say his kingdom was fully employed and productive.  His army had 2600 officers over 300,000 men.  They were well equipped with arms and even designed advanced weaponry.

Power and pride caused his downfall too, like his father, and he became unfaithful.  He was king and he also wanted to be a priest and burn incense in the Temple.  The priests confronted him in the Temple and told him to leave.  He refused and became angry so the Lord struck him with leprosy.  Therefore, he was forced to leave the Temple and also leave the palace.  Jotham, his son, took over the throne.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. God blesses those whose hearts are dedicated to following God’s Laws and worshipping Him.
  2. Power, pride, and arrogance will always cause us to disobey God.  God immediately punishes us for these sins.  God wants us humble and faithful.  Ask for His help.
  3. We are to build up our defenses against those who practice evil but we are not to go on the offensive without God’s blessing.  Let God guide us into the battles He wants to fight and win.
  4. Idolatry leads to distrust leads to disrepect leads to removal of responsibility.  Idolatry removes the Creator God from His rightful throne and replaces Him with man’s creation.  God is sovereign, not man.  Do not let success infect your heart and mind with pride and arrogance, thinking you are omnipotent and omniscient.  Only God possesses these two characteristics.
  5. Never attempt to take on a role for which you have not been appointed or for which you are not qualified.  Success in one area does not qualify you for another.  Use your gifts/talents wisely and maximize their effectiveness.  Honor and value those who have different gifts, encouraging their utilization for the good of all.
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