Amaziah could have been one of Judah’s great kings. His father had cleaned up the Temple and had begun a revival of worship of God. When he came to the throne, Amaziah quickly led his army to an impressive victory over the Edomites.
That’s when things started to unravel.
Actually, things were beginning to come apart right from the start of Amaziah’s reign, but no one seemed to notice.
We get the clues in the language the biblical writers use. Amaziah frequently had a “but” or a “however” attached to what he did. Notice—
- Amaziah “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, BUT not as his father David had done” (2 Kings 14:3).
- He worshiped God “HOWEVER the high places [of pagan worship] were not removed” (14:4).
- He rallied his fighting men for battle BUT “he also hired a hundred thousand [mercenary] fighting men from Israel” (2 Chronicles 25:6).
- Amaziah led his army to victory over the Edomites with God’s help BUT “he brought back the gods of the people of [Edom] … bowed down to them and burned sacrifices to them” (25:14).
- The king of Israel warned Amaziah not to attack Israel “HOWEVER Amaziah would not listen” (25:20).
Not only did these BUTS and HOWEVERS take Amaziah farther away from God, they took him farther away from his people too: “From the time Amaziah turned away from following the Lord, they conspired against him in Jerusalem” (25:27).
There is no “kinda” following God. It’s all-in or nothing. My heart is either fully devoted to God with no BUTS or HOWEVERS, or am I moving away from God and from others around me.
It should be a huge warning sign when I hear myself say “but” or “however” in regard to anything involved with following my God.