How do we receive correction when we go astray
King Joash, son of Ahaziah, began well under the guidance of the priest Jehoiada, but after his death strayed away from the Lord, and ended his reign by killing Zechariah, who was the son of Jehoiada, because he boldly rebuked the king for violating the Lord’s commands and worshipping idols, 2 Chronicles 24:1-22!
God caused him to subsequently be attacked by the Syrian army and he was badly wounded in that battle. Yet, he showed no signs of repentance!
Eventually, his servants plotted against him because of what he had done to the son of Jehoiada the priest and they murdered him on his bed, vs 23-26! His son king Amaziah, did what the LORD approved, but not with wholehearted devotion, 2 Chronicles 25:2. He set out to war against the Edomites, with help from Israel, but on being rebuked by the prophet to refrain from taking Israel’s help for they were backslidden, he promptly obeyed and God gave him victory in his fight with the Edomites, vs 5-11.
However, after defeating the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir and made them his personal gods! On being rebuked by the prophet for doing so, he refused to listen, and threatened the prophet instead, vs 14-16! On account of this, God permitted him to foolishly wage war with the Israelites and be defeated by them, vs 17-24! Refusing to repent even after these events, he was eventually assassinated by conspirators, vs 27! Sixteen year old Uzziah, his son was then made king in his place, 2 Chronicles 26:1.
Uzziah started out his reign in the fear of God and prospered greatly as a result, vs 2-15. *However, at the height of his prosperity and power, he became proud and entered the Lord’s temple to offer incense on the incense altar, vs 16. Even when the priests sought to stop him, he refused to listen to their rebuke, and so was struck with leprosy, and remained a leper till the day if his death, showing no signs of repentance whatsoever until then, vs 17-21!
Jotham’s reign was a relatively good one and he grew powerful because he was determined to please the LORD his God, 2 Chronicles 27:6. Perhaps, seeing what happened to his father, on account of his father’s pride and disobedience, served as a sufficient warning to keep him in check! Kings Joash, Amaziah and Uzziah started out well, but each of them fell prey to the spirit of pride. Joash forgot the important role that the priest Jehoiada played in getting him upon the throne as well as in instructing him in the ways of God, and went so far as to murder his son, and that too, for very wrong reasons!
Amaziah’s pride caused him to worship the gods of the Edomites, inspite of the Lord giving him the victory over them, and subsequently went on to fight with his own brothers, the Israelites! Uzziah’s pride caused him to cross his boundary and begin doing the work of a priest and thus brought upon himself a life long skin disease!
*The pride of each of these kings, like many others before them, reached such levels that they refused to listen to the prophetic voice of their day, and many times, either persecuted or killed the prophet! How is it with us? How do we receive correction when we go astray from obedience to the Lord’s commandments? Do we react in gratitude and humility like a wise person would or do we react as a scoffer or murderer would? Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall just like these three ‘good’ kings did! Amen.