2 Chronicles 25:14-16
After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore the Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?” But as he was speaking, the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” So the prophet stopped, but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”
Amaziah became king of Judah after his father Joash was assassinated by his own servants. Joash laid severely wounded in his bed and his servants finished him off. This was in retribution for Joash commanding the stoning of Zechariah, who was a prominent priest who help Joash restore the temple of the Lord.
Joash became powerful and full of himself. One day the princes came to Joash to pay homage and with them they brought their false gods. Joash being convinced of his own greatness abandoned God and turned to the false Gods. Zechariah came to Joash and called him out on his idolatry, but Joash’s response was to have Zechariah killed. Joash’s pride caused him to make a bad decision, which finally caught up to him as he lay wounded in bed.
Amaziah, Joash’s son, succeeds his father as king of Judah.
The first thing Amaziah orders is to have all the servants killed. But unlike most of his predecessors he only has the servants who betrayed his father slain. He does not touch their children. At that time Amaziah was following the laws of Moses which command that the sins of the father will not be visited upon the children.
2 Chronicles 25:4
But he did not put their children to death, according to what is written in the Law, in the Book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, “Fathers shall not die because of their children, nor children die because of their fathers, but each one shall die for his own sin.”
According to the book of 2 Chronicles, Amaziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not with a whole heart.
After seeking and getting vengeance for his father’s death, Amaziah decides to attack the Edomites at Seir. I’m not sure what provoked the attack, maybe it was payback for past transgressions, or lust for more wealth and power. Amaziah brings back the false gods of the Edomites and like his father and his father’s father, he abandons the Lord to worship the false gods.
The Lord sends his prophet to Amaziah to let him know of his displeasure. The prophet’s name is not mentioned so I assume he was a very anonymous person of that time. He probably looked like just some guy off the street.
As this prophet with no name begins to tell Amaziah of the Lord’s displeasure, Amaziah’s arrogance and pride shows through. Amaziah says, ”Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?”
Amaziah has become so inflated with self-worth that he tells the prophet, how can you be a prophet when I haven’t made you a prophet. Amaziah has set himself above God. As with every powerful person in history, the power has corrupted Amaziah.
And so it goes today in the power of government.
The leaders have a rule, the truth must come from them. They are the powerful, they are the all-seeing, all knowing, kings and princes. They will appoint the royal counselors and they will appoint the prophets. Those who circumvent their hierarchy shall be assassinated both figuratively and literally.
Why should it be any different today than it was in the times of the kings of Judah and Israel? Although those kings were seduced by the power and wealth of their times, it was a mere pittance when compared to the power and wealth in the hands of our leaders today.
And we, on a personal level, tend to do the same with advice and truth today.
We look at the media and although there is plenty of bogus information available, sometimes the truth is shot down because it didn’t come from one of the “royal counselors”. Sometimes we take all the information provided by the “royal counselors” as truth because they have been designated as the truth givers by our kings.
In 2 Chronicles 25:4, which is cited above, it says that Amaziah did what was right, “yet not with a whole heart.” Some versions of the Bible say “not with a perfect heart”, or “not whole heartily”.
The truth lies in our hearts. When the truth is presented to us we instinctively know the truth. But when we fill our hearts with clutter, wealth, power, arrogance, and leave no room for God then we cannot find the truth. And so we allow others to appoint the truth.
This is how it’s been and this is how it always will be.
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