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overconfident man June 25 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 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 probably 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 that we are not overconfident?

Amaziah was a good king in Judah. For the most part, he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. However, he did not remove the high places of worship. This was a continual irritation in the eyes of the LORD because it was in Jerusalem that he had set his name and his temple. Amaziah also struggled with his pride. Unfortunately, this is what led to his downfall.

Amaziah and his troops attacked the Edomites, which were long standing enemies to Judah along its southern border. Amaziah not only marshaled his troops, but he also hired 100,000 Ephraimites from 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 were great fighters, so it is no surprise that they were insulted when they were sent home. Unfortunately, Amaziah paid a price for hiring them and then having to dismiss them. Beware of small mistakes. Sometimes ill-advised actions, even when things are set aright, will not remove the consequences. Such was the case in this account. The Ephraimites attacked many border towns of Judah and plundered them since they were 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 was 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 defeated Edom, and the Ephraimites had killed 3,000 people in the border towns of Judah to plunder them, Amaziah decided to take revenge for his losses. Israel had experienced a recent defeat by Aram, so Amaziah got cocky and decided to call out the Ephraimites (Israel) to meet him in battle. Ephraim was a powerhouse (a cedar) that Judah (a thistle) was challenging. Amaziah did not seek the counsel of God, and so Judah was trounced by Ephraim. Fifteen years later his own officials conspired against him and assassinated him. We should exercise sound judgment and seek the counsel of the LORD so that we do not make imprudent decisions.

King Azariah, or Uzziah as he is often called, was a good king who reigned in his father’s stead. He was only sixteen when he began 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 was also famous for building many towers of defense, and he had 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, our arrogance will be taught and learned 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 that 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 that 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).

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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