When He, Amaziah, Laid His Hand on the Hilt of the Sword
Sword is defined as a weapon with a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard, used for thrusting or striking and now typically worn as part of ceremonial dress. It is also said to be part of the things put on during Halloween. While hilt is the handle of a sword or a dagger.
Ancient people in the part of the world to which the writer hails from do not know how to write, but they pass on their beliefs, practices, faiths and adages orally on to those coming after them. One of the adages passed on is, “if a heir is yet to lay his hand on the hilt of the sword, the heir would not ask of what killed his father (or parents)” for if he does so he would put himself in danger as those people would see to it that he dies.
Thus, the heir would lay low until he could lay his hands on the hilt of the sword. On achieving this, he knows that he has obtained power of the sword and could go to war with his father’s (and by extension his) enemies. It is when he has achieved this that he can ask for the cause of his father’s death without fear of being killed by those enemies.
With this short word at the back of our minds do I want us to see a King in the Southern Protectorate (part) of Israel, called Amaziah in the first millennium.
Brief Words on His Father, Joash
Six Israelites bear this name, Joash. It is written in Hebrew as “יאשׁ יואשׁ”, Romanized form is yô'âsh yô'âsh (pronounced as yo-awsh', yo-awsh'). It takes its root from this Hebrew word, “יהואשׁ” Romanized form is yehô'âsh (phonetic spelling is yeh-ho-awsh') which means Jehovah fired.
The account of the kingship of Joash could be found in the books of second Kings 12 and second chronicles chapter 24.
We shall discover that this King, Joash, started well when he was under the tutorship of a high priest called Jehoiada, however, when Jehoiada went to the way of all humans, his subjects came to him that he needs to revise what he was doing, and he consented with them and started worshiping Baal and other idols, the gods who were alien to Israel.
“And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
“But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.
“And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.
“Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.
“And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.” (2 Chr 24:2, 15-18)
As they continued in this position, the son of Jehoiada who was a prophet told them that what they were doing was wrong and not according to the Mosaic laws and that God would visit them in his anger for doing that. Because of this word of prophecy spoken against the king and his cohorts, he ordered that he be stoned to death.
“And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, thus saith God, why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.
“And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.
“Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.” (2 Chr 24:20-22)
Before this man, Zechariah died, he said “The LORD look upon it, and require it”.
After the killing of Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada and perhaps some other children of Jehoiada, the Syrian army who were small compared to the Israel army rose against the country and they overcame them.
“For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. so they executed judgment against Joash.” (2 Ch 24:24)
It should be noticed that the Israelites were forsaken because they have ignored their God who rules the heavens and the earth. It is the same with believers, when we go against the will of God, what is insignificant would overcome us, what ought to be ours would elude us and be given to someone else as a sign of punishment from God for our misdemeanor.
The Syrian army stayed within the country for a while, before leaving, while leaving they discovered that the King was diseased, thus, they left him behind and would not take him as a captive of war to their country.
“And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.” (2 Ch 24:25)
The nature of his disease wasn’t stated, but some scholars thought it could have been the aftermath of the war the Syrians waged with the country because many of his guards were killed.
“And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus.” (2 Ch 24:23)
However, some believed the king must have been visited in wrath by God such that he developed infirmities even before the enemies attacked the country.
Whether it was the injury that he sustained during the war of disease God allowed the devil to inflict him with because of his transgression and because he has forsaken him the after effect of this was that he became bedridden and could not administer his rulership over the country again as he was doing before.
When he was on the sick bed recuperating, his son, Amaziah started acting in his stead, he started ruling the nation (The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible).
Sadly, he did not get off this position because two of his courtiers entered where he was and killed him on his sick bed.
“And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.” (2 Ch 24:26)
After the demise of Joash, his son was officially crowned, and he started ruling over the country.
Amaziah the Heir, the New King
Four renown Israelites bear the name Amaziah. This name in Hebrew is written as “אמציהוּ אמציה”, Romanized form is 'ămatsyâh 'ămatsyâhû (phonetic spelling is am-ats-yaw', am-ats-yaw'-hoo) which means strength of Jah or Yahweh is strong. He started reigning in 796 BC at the age of 25 years after the demise of his father because a Kingdom cannot be without a ruler.
“Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.” (2 Ch 25:1)
Sets up Panel
On the assuming the throne, he would have set up a panel to look into the cause of the death of his father even on his sick bed because I am sure that those people who conspired to kill him wouldn’t stay nigh after the death of the man, they would also be feigning ignorance of his death.
For assuming what they want to do is legal they wouldn’t have conspired to kill the king.
After a while the people set up to investigate the cause of the death of King Joash submitted their findings about those who killed the King and they were: Zabad and Jehozabad.
“And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.” (2 Ch 24:26)
These people are strong people within the palace and had access to the king easily. They may also have the supports of other members of staff of the palace, but this wasn’t stated.
Beefed up Security
After the submission of the reports about those who killed the king and how they went about it, the king would have beefed up securities around him, changed some people who were guiding him who he thought were loyal to those who killed his father, and or those whom his loyalists told him were loyal to those who killed his father would be distanced from, forcefully retired from office (or their positions) and or transferred to another place entirely.
Premeditated to Take Vengeance
After he has successfully did this, it has been in his mind to take vengeance on those who killed his father. However, since he was still young on the throne with people still loyal to those people who killed his father, he couldn’t do anything immediately and he was waiting for the appropriate time to take vengeance.
No one does evil per chance, no one takes vengeance per chance, it would have been burning in the heart of the person for long before the person successfully carries out his plan on those people.
The king has been nursing the idea of how to get those people killed for long. Although people see him as doing things according to Mosaic Law, but it was not with a perfect heart. This means that though he was outwardly satisfying the demands of the law, because the law attends to things outside mostly, the law appeals to physical things mostly, but deeply sited within the heart of this man is another thing that is outside the law of God. And one of the things that is outside the law of God deeply sited in his heart is taken vengeance, because the bible says vengeance belongs unto the Lord.
“To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” (Deu 32:35)
Has anyone grieved you that you want to take vengeance on the person?
You should recall from this bible verse in Deuteronomy that vengeance belongs to the Lord no matter how you may want to take vengeance you cannot take it as God would have taken it for you if you can hand it over unto God. I know it may not be easy but if you can do this, you will know that your vengeance is insignificant compared to the vengeance of God when he does it.
I assume you will recall the story of David and King Saul. If David was to take vengeance what he would do was kill the King, but since he left the action unto God do you recall what the Lord did for him? God removed all those who will antagonize his rulership over Israel later because the children of King Saul also died with him on the battle front.
“So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.” (1 Sa 31:6)
King Ahaziah was seen doing things in tandem with the Mosaic Law which his father has neglected but not with a perfect heart, because the Lord sees his heart that vengeance was still there, evil was still there, and he would have been secretly warning him as he warned Cain, (Gen 4: 6-7) that he should leave everything into his care but he did not listen to God until his kingdom becomes established until he laid his hand on the hilt of the sword and then he killed those people who killed his father.
“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.” (2 Ch 25:2)
“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did.” (2 Ki 14:3)
We can see the position of his heart here, the bible says, he did everything he’s done as his father did. And what was it that his father did? His father followed the priest, because he was alive with him, but after the death of the priest, he started doing what was not according to the Mosaic Law.
He followed men like his father did but not the Lord and those people may also be the ones who instigated him of the need to take vengeance on those who killed his father.
This is the major problem we have in the world today, we have so many people who are following men, there are many people who are looking at what people are doing, they are afraid of what people would say, and that is their guideline in faith, they are really not committed to God and his Jesus, they are not sincerely saved.
Therefore, it is easy for people to be tossed around be many doctrines, because they have not been convinced of salvation.
Poll Your Reason
Are people your reason for following Jesus Christ?
If people become your motivating factor to become a Christian and continuing being a Christian, I want to tell you that you have missed it, because if those people be gone or died like the high priest Jehoiada died, you will not follow Jesus Christ again. Thence, you must be convinced within you that you really wish to follow Jesus, that you really determined to be saved, to be a Christian.
When those who were following Jesus for material things were talked to during his days, they couldn’t withstand the word and they turned back from following him, but those who have been convinced, those who have made up their minds to follow him told him that it is only death that can separate them from him and that was what they did.
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, will ye also go away?
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
“And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Joh 6:66-69)
You must get to that position too, that it is only death that would separate you from Jesus Christ.
He patiently Waited
Being young on the throne, he patiently waited until he becomes established in the kingdom before venting out his vengeance on those who killed his father. If he had done this earlier, it is sure that he would not last a decade on the throne before he be killed by enemies.
A lesson is here for us to learn and it is that we should learn to be patient in life, what you will get, and which will have negative effect on you, your faith, you may suspend it for the time being.
“Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father.” (2 Ch 25:3)
He waited until his kingdom was established, he waited until he knows that whatever he does would not have negative consequences before taken vengeance.
“And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father.” (2 Ki 14:5)
The author of the book of second kings says “as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand” he killed those who killed his father. Some of us are overtly anxious to get what we want, and when what we want is at the promise-level, foundational level, we shall begin to count our chicks before the eggs are hatched and by the time the eggs would be hatched, we would be disappointed and then develop psychological troubles.
I remember when we were in university, some of us have started celebrating our successes before the results were released, planning on where to go for vacation immediately the results were released. And when the results were released, we were shocked to discover that we have failed some courses. It is a terrible lesson for us.
Though, to some people this may not be a perfect example to drive this home, because what he did was not in tandem with the will of God, but if we can apply our hearts to wisdom, if we can look beyond this we shall learn from this that, we need to be patient until we are doubly certain of some things before doing them. I hope we understand this?
He waited, and when the Kingdom becomes confirmed or established in his hand, he struck his enemies without having negative consequences.
May people who take vengeance today do not just jump at it, they have premeditated it before they take vengeance on people. God encourages us not to take vengeance by saying vengeance belongs unto him and no matter how powerful, terrible our vengeance may look like, it cannot be compared with that of God, therefore, leave vengeance to God.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN