I recently read through one of my favorite Old Testament stories. When King Amaziah began his reign in Judah, he did "that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart." (2 Chronicles 25:2) It always saddens me when kings began right and fell. But today, I wanted to focus on one of the good points of his life.
After making his armies (2 Chronicles 25:5), King Amaziah hired 100,000 more mighty men of valor for 100 talents of silver (2 Chronicles 25:6). Immediately in the next verse, a prophet was sent to Amaziah saying, "O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down." (vs. 7-8)
I can almost see Amaziah's thought-process: "Wait! You don't understand! I've just spent an immense amount to hire this help - and God tells me to send them home? Doesn't He understand the money I'll lose from this investment?" His next words prove where his thoughts were: "But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel?" (vs. 9) I can sense a bit of apprehension, rooted in the fact that money had already been spent - and wouldn't be returned.
The answer he got was, "The Lord is able to give thee much more than this." This truth applies to me as well as Amaziah. God can give us so much more than what we've already spent if we but follow Him! After all, what am I looking to? My pocket-book? or God?
To those of us who like reading of the kings who actually chose right, Amaziah's response is applauded. He sent the men home and fought with his own men (vs. 10-11). Victory! (vs. 11-12).
Now to bring the story back home: is there an area in which I have invested (time, money, things) and then God leads me elsewhere? What is my response? "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel 15:22) At what price am I willing to follow God's leading in my life?