II Kin. 14:1-14, 17-20; II Chron. 25:1-28
Amaziah became king of Judah at the age of twenty-five after his father Joash’s assassination by his servants. One of his first acts as king was to execute the murderous servants. He did right before God, but he was just like other men; he did not fully restore the proper worship of God.
During that time in the history of man, God continued to use wars to punish evil nations. Amaziah attacked the Edomites with His help and destroyed about twenty thousand of their men after God had instructed him to discharge one hundred thousand soldiers that he had hired from Israel.
However, Amaziah was like other kings in that he took gods from defeated Edom and erected them for Judah’s worship. The question that God asked him still applies to us today. “Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?” That action was disastrous for Judah. The prophet delivered the message, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice.”
Even the dire warning from God did not stop the prideful Amaziah from challenging Joash, the king of Israel to battle. Joash rejected his challenge by stating in effect that the Judean king should not engage in a war that he could not win. The ensuing battle at Beth Shemesh resulted in a costly defeat of Judah before they could even invade Israel. Their king was captured, the wall of Jerusalem was partially destroyed and the temple of God was looted of its treasures.
In time, a conspiracy was formed against the king. Even after escaping to the strong city of Lachish, Amaziah was killed and his son, Azariah then became king of Judah.