1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. 1 Chronicles 25:1-2 (NASB)
Reading about the kings of Judah is a real rollercoaster of faith, up in the heights with those who follow God and down in the dips with those who don’t. Amaziah was a king on the downward spiral heading towards a deep dip; he began well but it didn’t last long. As I read his story it became obvious that pride really had a grip of him, and he went from not being wholehearted for God down into the depths of sin.
Immediately after his investiture as king he began by killing those who had assasinated his father, King Joash. In his campaign against Edom rather than relying on God, he hired 100,000 Israeli warriors to boost his army. After the intervention of a man of God he dismissed the Israelis, much to their shame and anger. Amaziah defeated the Edomites, and ruthlessly slaughtered his prisoners. Meanwhile Amaziah’s sin of not relying on God wholeheartedly came to bear as the disgruntled Israeli mercenaries ransacked Judean cities on the way home, killing 3,000 citizens. The triumphant Amaziah returned from his victory over Edom, carrying their gods who he chose to worship – talk about buying a dud! God’s anger burned against Amaziah – and his fate was sealed. Proud of his victory and angered by the work of the disaffected mercenaries he challenges Israel to battle. This was his undoing, Israel defeated his Judean forces and plundered Jerusalem. Amaziah ended with the same fate as his late father, being assasinated by his own people. King Amaziah was not wholehearted for God and he paid the price for it.
What is it to be wholehearted? The Hebrew word for “whole” is Shalem, meaning to be complete, safe and, at peace. I don’t know about you, but to me being completely with God, safe and at peace in Him sounds excellent. it is a pity Ahaziah had not thought this too. Being wholehearted for God means to love Him completely:
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Mark 12:30 (NASB)
And to trust our Father God in all things:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 (NASB)
Finally, seek Him regularly and often in prayer, He will be found by us:
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB)
Dear reader, my prayer for you today is that you will be wholehearted in Almighty God – your Father. Love Him, trust Him always and, seek Him regularly in prayer. In this we will be secure in Him always.