The king who was planted in rocky ground

In the parable of the sower part of the seed fell on rocky ground.

Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.
Matthew 13:5-6

Jesus explained the meaning to his disciples.

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
Matthew 13:20-21

Judah had a king, Amaziah, who was an example of this kind of seed.

Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart.
2 Chronicles 25:1-2

He started out well.  His father, Joash, had been murdered, but he followed God’s commands in dealing with the murderers.

And as soon as the royal power was firmly his, he killed his servants who had struck down the king his father. But he did not put their children to death, according to what is written in the Law, in the Book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, “Fathers shall not die because of their children, nor children die because of their fathers, but each one shall die for his own sin.”
2 Chronicles 25:3-4

Someone whose father had been murdered might be tempted to take the maximum possible vengeance on the killers by destroying their entire families; if Amaziah experienced this temptation he didn’t give in to it.

He prepared to go to war against Edom.  He raised an army of 300,000 men of Judah and also hired 100,000 soldiers from Israel for 100 talents of silver.  A prophet told him God did not want the men from Israel to go with him and he should send them home.  Amaziah was concerned about the money he had paid them.

And Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?” The man of God answered, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.”
2 Chronicles 25:9

Once again Amaziah obeyed even though this time it cost him a lot of money.  He led his army against the Edomites and defeated them.  But then he did something that was completely unlike his former behavior.

After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them.
2 Chronicles 25:14

Why would someone who had lived a life of obedience suddenly turn away from God and worship false gods?  Perhaps it was a response to what the Israelite soldiers did after he had sent them home.

But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, not letting them go with him to battle, raided the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and struck down 3,000 people in them and took much spoil.
2 Chronicles 25:13

Of course we have no idea what Amaziah’s thoughts were but one possibility is that he expected to be rewarded for his obedience in sending away the Israelites and felt that God had betrayed him when he allowed them to attack Judah.  His worship of the Edomite gods was a way of expressing his resentment.

Sometimes obedience to God will make things worse instead of better.  These times are a test of the genuineness of our faith and Amaziah failed the test.


Posted on October 28, 2015, in Bible study and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The king who was planted in rocky ground.

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