Posted by: arieliondotcom | July 4, 2013

Fickle Faith (2 Chronicles 25)

Fickle Faith (2 Chronicles 25)

When I was a boy we had a game where we would pick a flower (daisies worked best) and plucked the petals off, one by one saying “She loves me” or “She loves me not” with each petal. The last petal would determine (in our childish minds) whether the girl we were thinking of loved us or or not. We were fickle and thought that love was fickle as a flower, too.

In today’s lesson we learn how Amaziah played a spiritual version of this game with GOD. And, more importantly, we do too every day.

Amaziah is the new King of Judah. And he starts out well. He follows the Law of the LORD and when he kills the servants who had murdered his father he doesn’t kill their children. But he only follows the LORD half-heartedly. Instead of trusting in the Lord completely he hires some of the idol-worshippers from the rebellious 10 tribes of Israel to go to war with him.

GOD sends a prophet to warn him that God Is against Israel. Amaziah complains he has already paid these people. But the prophet explains it’s a poor investment and that favor with God is much more valuable.

So Amaziah sends the mercenary Israelites home. But they hold a grudge. Although God leads the army of Judah to great victory, while they are gone the armies of Israel which they had broken their word with raid some of their cities.

When Amaziah and his armies return to Judah they bring the idols of their enemies with them instead of destroying them. And they even worship them!

We can almost hear the shock in God’s voice as He sends another prophet to Amaziah. This time the prophet speaks against him for being so fickle and turning away from God so quickly after victory. Rather than turning back to God, the king warns the prophet to shut up or die! Like a daisy petal falling to the ground, his allegiance to GOD is gone.

The prophet stops speaking on behalf of GOD as ordered but finishes saying that he knows in his own heart Amaziah is doomed. But Amaziah is already on to the next petal.

As quickly as he had dumped the king of the traitor Israelites before, and in spite of warnings from GOD, Amaziah now tries to pick a fight with them. He challenges Joash, King of Israel to a face to face showdown. But Joash, who ironically has the same name as Amaziah’s father, warns Amaziah that he will be crushed if he crosses him.

This is all a judgment from God, though. God is using this to put Amaziah in his place. So they meet but Israel defeats Judah. They capture Amaziah and bring him to be imprisoned back to his own city of nearby Jerusalem rather than taking him back to their own country. They broke down the wall of Jerusalem took hostages and stole the treasure while they were there. Amaziah tried to break away and hide in the town of Lachish but he was captured again and killed there. Yet the people of Judah, as if with their final daisy petal, decided to love him enough as their king to bring his body back to Jerusalem for a king’s burial.

Fickle faith. What does that have to do with us? We may well ask. What about when we *would* go to church if we just weren’t so tired or hadn’t been up so late. We *would* give more, but cable is expensive these days! And don’t even talk about gas! Or movie tickets…clothes…video ga…Well never mind. Prayer time? That would be great but I get a bible verse a day on my wall on Facebook, I need to go shopping, promised to go out with friends later and the game is on tonight!

We love GOD. We love Him not. Depending on which way the wind blows, as James says, with every wind of doctrine. If He says something sweet, we’re fine. But a sour word of inconvenience and we’re like Amaziah and toss that petal away.

JESUS talked about flowers, too. He said that they were beautiful through nothing they did but as a natural byproduct of GOD’s provision, which is never fickle. So He tells us not to worry, that GOD is good. Yet He calls us “you of little faith.”

We are fickle as children because we lack the experience of true love to know that it’s much stronger than a daisy petal. We are fickle with our faith because we have so little of it in our human nature. But JESUS gives the answer. He says to seek first GOD’s Way and it will change everything. We don’t have the capacity to love GOD the way we should until we have the experience of new life, like the new life of adulthood for the fickle child.

The answer is to seek GOD’s kingdom through the gateway of the cross and His righteousness by being born again with a new heart. We can’t accept the new until we rid ourselves of the old by confessing our need of JESUS our Savior and His gift of eternal Life. Unlike Amaziah we we can stop having fickle faith when it’s the result of the Holy Spirit in our heart.

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