2 Chronicles 25:9 “Amaziah asked the man of God, ‘But what about the hundred talents I paid for those Israelite troops?’”

Observation: Amaziah, king of Judah, was preparing to war against Edom. To augment his army he hired a hundred thousand fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver. (2 Chron. 25:6) After doing this he was challenged by a man of God who reminded Amaziah that the Lord was not with Israel; in fact, such alliance reflected lack of trust in God. Amaziah was told to terminate the arrangement if he wanted to experience God’s blessing. Amaziah’s immediate concern was for the money he had already paid to hire Israel’s army, but the man of god assured him that “the Lord can give you much more than that.” (verse 9(b))

Application: There is always a cost in following the Lord. While the benefits are eternal and wonderful beyond imagining, they are generally deferred benefits, while obedience’s cost is often immediate. This was Amaziah’s conundrum.

He had just paid a great deal of money to rent a shiny new army, and then came a man of God to tell him he had erred. If he used that army, God would wreak havoc on his plans. Amaziah’s immediate thoughts were of buyer’s remorse. He didn’t express gratitude to God for heading his sin off at the pass. He wasn’t thrilled by the supernatural evidence of God’s watchcare. Instead, he complained about the payment he had made and what obedience would cost. Never mind that his rent-an-army agreement with Israel had been made without consulting God in the first place.

How easy it is for me to act as Amaziah acted: to make commitments for purchase of things I don’t need and for which I have not consulted God. In this I am too often guilty of Paul’s description of lawlessness in the last days: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money…without self control…rash…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Tim. 3:2-5).

The pleasures of comfort, like pleasures of sin, are fleeting at best. Just as there was a man of God sent to speak warning into Amaziah’s life about the approaching consequences of his presumption, so God today speaks through the Holy Spirit to similarly bring correction and warning to me. The surpassingly good news is this: “The Lord can bring (me) much more than that.” Immeasurable blessings are mine, heaped up and overflowing, if I will but seek Him with my whole heart and then obey.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, the passing pleasures of sin and self reliance are as nothing compared to the rewards of loving You above all else. Stir me to zealous obedience.