Monday, July 8, 2024

God of Victory

Over the course of Israel's history, her kings seemed to struggle more and more with trusting in God. Somehow, the stories they had of His military victories weren't enough to sustain them. 

This was the God who led Egypt into the waters. Who parted the river for His people to walk through. Who laid to rubble the walls of Jericho with pots and trumpets. Who whittled Gideon's army down to a mere few men, then brought the victory anyway. He is the God who was able to keep His word to kill Ahab in battle, even though Jehoshaphat was the one dressed as a king. 

And yet. 

Amaziah was the king of Judah, fairly late in the game. By this point, Israel had split into two kingdoms long ago - the southern kingdom of Judah, which followed David's line as best as they were able, and the northern kingdom of Israel, which had rebelled. Like some others before him, Amaziah started his reign by killing all of his opponents, thus securing his rule. Then, he amassed an army of all able Judahites. 

But that wasn't enough for him. 

He went on to go into the northern kingdom of Israel and recruit more fighting men - skilled fighting men. Men with incredible abilities on the battlefield, whom Amaziah thought would be a tremendous asset to his own forces.

The prophet warned him this wasn't good, that he didn't need to hire mercenaries from other countries. That he should fight with just his own men, who would be more than enough. After all, there were 300,000 of them, all said and done. 

In fact, the prophet goes on to tell him in no uncertain terms, straight from the Lord Himself, that if he insists on hiring these other fighting men and putting them into his army, he'll never win

God will never let him win. 


Not because God wanted him to lose. Not because God enjoyed seeing His people defeated. But only because God wanted him to know and to trust what had always been true: 

That God alone is the victory. 


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