2 Kings 14:10-12 [Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah:] “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?” Amaziah, however, would not listen, so Jehoash king of Israel attacked. He and Amaziah king of Judah faced each other at Beth Shemesh in Judah. Judah was routed by Israel, and every man fled to his home.
King Jesus, the ‘Lion of Judah’ and true King of all Israel, set before us a clear model for leadership in God’s Kingdom: servanthood. It was at the heart of what he taught his disciples, by word and example. For some reason it seems to be a hard lesson for us to learn; perhaps we do not realise how deep-seated the sin of pride is in our hearts.
God had enabled Amaziah, King of Judah, to gain a resounding victory over Edom, and on the strength of this the foolish man decided to wage war against his Northern brothers. Israel’s King, Jehoash, showed more godly wisdom, as we see in today’s verse – a wisdom that would soon be vindicated by the events that followed. Sadly, Amaziah’s pride would not only be the cause of his own downfall; it would bring down his Kingdom as well.
There is no place for arrogant leadership among God’s people. The Lord’s Church will only succeed in its mission in the world to the extent that we learn the secret of authentic servant leadership, a leadership that is marked by Christ-like humility and grace. Let us glory in the victories God does give us, but let us do so ‘at home’!
And let us be in constant prayer about the current situation in Israel. It is easy for any of us to make the same error of judgement that Amaziah made! May we see the Sovereign Lord’s gracious hand at work in this whole disastrous situation that there might not continue to be unnecessary loss of life.
– Bruce Christian