Bible Readings for December 21st
Amaziah, like Joash his father, is a godly king who does not end his life as faithfully as he begins it. So, the summary of Amaziah’s reign goes like this: “And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart” (2 Chron. 25:2). Amaziah, then, righteously puts to death the servants who had assassinated his father, and he is also obedient not to put their children to death for what their fathers did, according to the law of Moses (2 Chron. 25:3–4). Nevertheless, Amaziah begins to seek the gods of Edom toward the end of his life, and when this happens, Yahweh ordains Amaziah’s demise (2 Chron. 25:20).
In today’s meditation, however, we will look at the story in the middle of this chapter where Amaziah both disobeys and obeys. In 2 Chronicles 25:5–13, we read that Amaziah hires one hundred thousand warriors from the northern tribes of Israel for one hundred talents of silver (2 Chron. 25:6). By doing this, Amaziah betrays the fact that he does not actually believe Yahweh will help him in battle, as a man of God (i.e., a prophet) comes to tell him: “Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down” (2 Chron. 25:8).
So far, this interaction is fairly typical—the leaders and kings of both Israel and Judah have often sought all kinds of interventions to help them in war only to be rebuked by a prophet. Amaziah’s response, however, is fascinating: “But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?” To this, the man of God replies, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this” (2 Chron. 25:9). This is called the sunk cost fallacy, where we believe that because we have already invested heavily into the wrong solution, we will do better to continue down that road rather than cutting our losses and switching to the right path.
Often, after we have invested heavily in our own plans and schemes for our futures, it is tempting to want to stick the course, no matter what. Even when the Holy Spirit begins to convict our hearts of the faithlessness of our plans, we feel a strong impulse to finish things out anyway after coming so far. Are you convicted of sin but worried about getting your investment back? Repent fully today, and listen to the promise from God’s word: he is able to give you much more than this, and in fact, he is able to do “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).
The question is not whether God can restore our losses, but rather this: Will you trust him to do it?
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.