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overconfident man June 25 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 2Kings 14:1-20; 2Chronicles 25:1-28; 2Kings 13:24-25; 2Kings13:12-13; 2Kings 14:21-22; 2Kings 15:1-5; 2Chronicles 26:1-21

Overconfidence

We have witnessed how some businesses, ball teams, or even politicians always seem to win. And in their winning they sometimes become overconfident, cocky and sloppy, thinking they can do whatever they want and still have success. But then they begin to lose. Some of us are like that and so were King Amaziah and his son Uzziah. What can be done so we are not overconfident?

In today's Bible reading Amaziah is a good king of the nation of Judah. For the most part, he does what is right in the eyes of the LORD; however, he does not remove the high places of worship. This is a continual irritation in the eyes of the LORD because it is in Jerusalem that He set his name and His temple. Amaziah also struggles with his pride. This is what led to his downfall.

Amaziah and his troops attack the Edomites, which are long standing enemies to Judah along its southern border. Amaziah not only marshals his troops, but also hires 100,000 Ephraimites from Israel (a powerful tribe on the southern border of Israel).

But a man of God came to him and said, “O king, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the LORD is not with Israel-- not with any of the people of Ephraim. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.”
Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?”
The man of God replied, “The LORD can give you much more than that.”
So Amaziah dismissed the troops who had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were furious with Judah and left for home in a great rage, (2Chronicles 25:7-10, NIV).

The Ephraimites are great fighters, so it is no surprise that they are insulted when they are sent home. Amaziah pays a price for hiring them and then dismissing them. Beware of small mistakes. Sometimes ill-advised actions, even when things are set aright, will not remove the consequences. Such is the case with Amaziah. The Ephraimites attack many border towns of Judah and plunder them since they are cheated out of the possible spoils of victory in Edom.

When Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them and burned sacrifices to them. The anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why do you consult this people's gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?”
While he was still speaking, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you an adviser to the king? Stop! Why 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,” (2Chronicles 25:14-16, NIV).

Amaziah is too proud to listen. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18, NIV). We, too, need to listen to the counsel of wise and godly people.

Since Amaziah soundly defeats Edom, and the Ephraimites kill 3,000 people in the border towns of Judah to plunder them, Amaziah decides to take revenge for his losses. Israel experienced a recent defeat by Aram, so Amaziah gets cocky and decides to call out the Ephraimites (Israel) to meet him in battle. Ephraim is a powerhouse (a cedar) that Judah (a thistle) is challenging. Amaziah does not seek the counsel of God, and so Judah is trounced by Ephraim. Fifteen years later his own officials conspire against him and assassinate him. We should exercise sound judgment and seek the counsel of the LORD so we do not make imprudent decisions.

King Azariah, or Uzziah as he is often called, is a good king who reigns in his father’s stead. He is only sixteen when he begins his reign (he may have had an extended time of co-regency with his father (more).

He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success, (2Chronicles 26:4-5, NIV).

Uzziah is famous for building many towers of defense, and he has a large well-trained army with the latest advancements in equipment.

But after Uzziah became powerful, [like his father] his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in.

They confronted him and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God.”

Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead.

When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.

King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house --leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land, (2Chronicles 26:16-21, NIV).

If we are not careful and refuse to keep our pride in check, we will suffer for it. In addition, our arrogance will be taught and copied by the generations who follow, and that same pride could be their downfall as well.

Lessons to Live By (How to avoid overconfidence)

  • Recognize it is God who gives us the victory. We are merely His servants. Do you know Him? Are you in fellowship with Him? (more...)
  • Beware of small mistakes. Sometimes ill-advised actions, even when things are set aright, will not remove the consequences.
  • We need to listen to the counsel of wise and godly people.
  • We need to exercise sound judgment and seek the counsel of the LORD so we will not make imprudent decisions.
  • If we are not careful, our sinful pride will be passed on to the next generation, and it may cause their downfall. Pray that God will remove this pride from your life.

Today’s Bible Memory Verse

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18, NIV).

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