(This passage is also referenced in 2 Kings 14:1-16)
If there was ever a statement made that could encapsulate the way that many of us behave towards God this must be it, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly” (25:2). If that statement makes you feel uncomfortable I’m sorry but if we’re honest who among us can honestly declare that we genuinely do “what is right in the eyes of the Lord wholeheartedly.” It’s a tough call and we have to recognise that.
Amaziah wasn’t very old when he ascended the throne, just 25 and I know that at that age I was full of energy and enthusiasm for the things I was doing but I lacked experience, stamina and in some cases the training to be as successful as I might have been. It’s very easy to find yourself being distracted by fashions and trends at any age and although he started well Amaziah was distracted by the things he found during a battle with the Edomites. Some idols he took absorbed his attention and before long he was burning sacrifices and bowing down to them. It was a slippery slope. He held onto his reign for some years but eventually he was killed in Lachish.
There is no denying that it’s a full time job staying focussed on God especially in a world where we’re bombarded every waking minute with things that are deigned to distract us from that task. While I’d love to be able to present a simple formula that sets out a way to maintain that focus with complete success I’m afraid it isn’t that simple. We are called to be a people of discipline which means that we need to create a framework within which we can work or a set of boundaries which are uncomfortable to cross. So, good habits are great. We set aside a time each day to read God’s word, to pray and most of all to be still and listen for the still small voice of God (see 1 Kings 19:12). That’s a simple but very good framework but what happens if we skip that routine for a few days. The longer we go without doing it the further away from God we drift and before we know it not being with God is ‘normal’. So we go back to stamina, training and experience. Paul wrote about perseverance in Romans 5:3-5 and that’s what Amaziah really needed to be as successful as his ancestor David had been.
Read Romans 5:3-5 and meditate on it. Ask yourself how hot your life with God is.