You have indeed defeated Edom and now you are arrogant. Glory in your victory, but stay at home! Why ask for trouble and cause your own downfall and that of Judah also? (2 Kings 14:10 NIV)
Unlike their Northern brothers, Judah did not completely reject Yahweh. Indeed on occasion Judah would be lead back to God by kings who initially did what was right in God’s sight.
Joash had started off well and ruled well as long as Jehoiada the priest was around. In that time he pushed through important repairs to the temple. For all the positive things he did, his end was not as good as his beginning. His son Amaziah had a mixed example to follow.
Like his father, his start was promising. He did what was right in dealing with those who killed his predecessor. He was even noted for his obedience to the law of Moses by not killing the children of those who had committed the assassination. He also was able to gain a great victory over Edom.
It is often, however, in the light of great accomplishments that people are vulnerable. The prize at great effort leaves one susceptible to pride and arrogance. Even though Amaziah was more of a follower of God than his Northern neighbours, it still did not justify seeking a fight with them. Even the ungodly King of Israel was able to offer wise counsel to leave them alone.
In the height of his victory, Amaziah ignored good counsel. As a result the army of Judah were soundly defeated and the troops of Israel went on to demolish the wall of Jerusalem and burst into the temple and take of its riches. That which his father had done so much to repair and reestablish was thrown into disarray by the insurgents.
The cost of arrogance was great on Judah. It goes to show that there is no room for pride even in the light of success. It remains important to be humble to good advice when we get it.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden