Judged according to what is given
2 Kings 15:1 -
In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.
In today's message we read about King Azariah who became king of Judah at a very early age of 16years. Even at that age he held on his shoulders the responsibility of being a good king and what is important was that he kept the Commandments.
We would say Oh what a good example, but we read that the Lord struck him with leprosy. Now, one would ask there were other kings who did not keep the commandments, they were instruments in killing the Men of God and also abusing His sanctuary, why pick on Him.
The scriptures say he did 'according to all that his father Amaziah had done; save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places'. Azariah was aware that these places of worship were abomination to the Lord. Knowing this, he let it continue for he did not want to displease the people who were involved with it.
Compare this with King Jeroboam the king of Israel who also ruled around the same time and it is written about him that 'he did evil in the sight of the Lord', it is also written he even made other Israelites too, to sin, yet we do not read Jeroboam being struck with leprosy. Is God unjust?
If you read about Jeroboam, it is written although he was a great sinner, he fulfilled God's Word and so did His will.
What is more interesting is that it is written both 'slept with their fathers'. This line does not mean that they were just buried with their fathers but means they slept in the bosom of Abraham which means they did not go to Hell.
Although both were saved from Hell yet one who was good suffered a lot and one who was considered evil did not, what was different between them was them doing God's Will.
Azariah knew that God wanted him to bring down the high places because he had a relationship with the Lord, but to please the people he did not bring down the high places. God in his personal had also to be witnessed in his public life. He identified himself as a godly man but his compromising on the high places certified them as being okay, which angered the Lord more than what he pleased God by his personal life.
This is the reason why many preachers, pastors, priest, Men of God and people of God who become representatives of the Lord but by their actions deny God's and show Him in a poor light land up suffering. In their personal lives they may be good people, never hurting anyone, always soft words, going out of their way, but because somewhere in their lives they compromise God by pleasing people more than God, they land up in great problems.
No doubt Azariah was saved from Hell because of his personal life relationship with the Lord but in his earthly life he suffered and paid a heavy price for wrongly witnessing God to His people. On Judgment Day when both Azariah and Jeroboam wakeup in the Lord, both will be judged based on all parameters which only the Son and Spirit know.
Let us learn from today's message and also concentrate on what our actions speak about the Lord to the people, how they show our God is.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are Holy and Righteous God and You ask your people also be holy and righteous. Lord, You know that it is not possible for man to be holy and righteous, but being in You and under the shadow of thy wings, we can cover ourselves with your holiness and righteousness. Help us Lord to understand when we tell people we are Christian, we are telling them who Christ and who our God is by our way of life, our decisions, our actions, our behavior and all that we do. Open the areas which need change and strengthen us in the areas which we are weak in...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripture ]
2 Kings 5:1-7
1 In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.
2 Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.
3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done;
4 Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.
5 And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land.
6 And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
7 So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
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