2 Chronicles 26:1
All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah.
Premature Responsibility, EtcW. Clarkson 2 Chronicles 26:1-5
Uzziah the ProsperousT. Whitelaw 2 Chronicles 26:1-15

In these verses we have a picture or a suggestion of -

I. PREMATURE RESPONSIBILITY. "All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king." They all agreed to set a lad upon the throne. Events seem to have justified their course; and if Zechariah the prophet, or, what is more likely, some prominent "prince of Judah," acted as prime minister or protector, he may have succeeded even in the earlier years of his administration. But it is a very great mistake to devolve large responsibilities upon the young.

1. It is bad for the estate they have to administer, whatever that may be. "Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child," is a curse which has a wide application. The very young, with minds that must be immature, judge without knowledge, are swayed by persons rather than governed by principles, fall into serious and often into disastrous mistakes.

2. It is bad for themselves. It exposes them to several temptations which it is not right they should encounter, and it loads them with a weight of duty and difficulty they are not strong enough to carry. In most cases they break down, in some direction, under their burden. Responsibility is not for youth; it is for prime and for the ripe experience of later life.

II. THE INEQUALITIES OF CONDITION WHICH THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD ASSIGNS US. Uzziah "reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem." To him God gave more than half a century of power and wealth and their attendant advantages. To others he denies these larger gratifications altogether, and grants very limited comforts, and these for a very brief hour. How do we account for this? All is plain if we consider:

1. That neither justice nor kindness requires that God should give to one man as large a heritage as he has given to another; it is no injury to me to whom he has given one talent that it has pleased him to bestow ten talents on my neighbour. I had no claim to that one talent which, of his pure goodness, he has conferred upon me.

2. That the chief value of human life depends neither upon its surroundings nor upon its duration, but upon its moral and spiritual characteristics.

3. That if there be any inequalities that, in the cause of righteousness, require adjustment, there remains the long future for redress.

III. THE INFLUENCE OF MOTHERHOOD ON OUR CHARACTER AND OUR COURSE. It is not without meaning that we have the record, "his mother's name was Jecoliah." To much too large a degree in the East all that the mother contributes is maternity. But "woman, beloved of God in old Jerusalem," gave much more than this. She was not a cipher in the home; she was an intelligent, active sharer in the thought and history of her country and her time. Jesus Christ owed much to her truer appreciation, and to her more faithful ministry. It is likely that Uzziah owed as much to his mother as to his father in the way of godly training and good home influence. A very considerable number of the great and good men who have rendered conspicuous services to their race became what they were because they grew up in the atmosphere of a mother's gentle and beautiful life. "No mother knows who or what she has in her cradle," or can tell how great a share she may have, by the training of the little child that is slumbering there, in the enrichment or the reformation of the world.

IV. THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY ON OUR CHARACTER AND COURSE. "He sought God in the days of Zechariah" (ver. 5). No doubt this seeking of the Lord was very largely due to the prophet's influence over him. The true Christian minister is, like the Hebrew prophet, "one that speaks for God" to men. And he who speaks for his Divine Master with faithfulness, with earnestness of spirit, in true and pure affection, speaking "the whole counsel of God" as he is able to learn and utter it, has a work to do and an influence to exert second to none in the hearts and lives of men. From the court to the cottage-home the gracious power of such ministry is felt in the land.

V. THE PROSPERITY OF PIETY. "As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper" (ver. 5). (See homily on 2 Chronicles 25:15," The folly of irreligion.")

1. There is no prosperity worthy of the name, or worthy of our ambition and pursuit, outside the fear and the favour of God. "Who hath hardened himself against him and prospered?" Many have seemed to do so, and have imagined that they did. But, in the light of Divine wisdom, they have miserably failed.

2. There can be no failure in the faithful service of the Supreme. What looks like it, there may be, there often is; but not the thing itself. For he who walks with God, and is the friend of Jesus Christ, must be what is right and good; must stand where he is secure from harm; must be witnessing for the truth of God; must be moving on towards deeper wisdom, purer joy, and a glorious estate beyond. - C.

And Amarish said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel?
I. THE PATH OF DUTY WAS CLEARLY BEFORE AMAZIAH. "Send the army of Israel away."


1. Worldly pleasure.

2. Worldly interests.

(1)A bad business, one you cannot ask God to bless.

(2)A legitimate business that is not conducted on Christian principles.

3. Worldly companions.

4. Bad habits.

III. GOD RECOGNISES THE DIFFICULTY. "The Lord is able to give thee much more than this." When our first missionaries went to India, Dr. Cope died on the voyage. Some letters of introduction to English gentlemen in India had been written. When his friends arrived they went on shore and told how Dr. Cope had died and been buried in the deep sea. As they knew nothing of the language of India they asked advice, and the advice given was, "Take the first vessel that sails for England and go home again." One of the young men of the party said, "That is out of the question. I came here to preach the gospel, and, God helping me, I mean to do it." They said, "If you bring God into the matter, that alters it altogether." Bring God into your pleasure and into your business, and that will alter them altogether.

(Charles Garrett.)

I know a widow whose husband died and left her with a little family to struggle for. She opened a little shop in the suburbs of the city, when one of the agents of a wine-merchant waited upon her to ask her to be an agent for the sale of strong drink. She said, "Never a drop shall enter my house." He said "It will help you so much." She said, "If it helps me some, it will harm me more. I have children around me, and whether I prosper or not, I will not gain anything to the injury of my fellow-creatures." She has done wonderfully. An intimate friend of mine went to see her, and said, "I cannot understand how you get on, and why so many come to your shop, for they pass a number of good shops to come to yours." She said to her boy, "George, you are fond of ciphering; get down your slate and put down how far off a man must live from my shop that God cannot bring him there." That settled it. "God is able to give more than this."

(Charles Garrett.)

There can be no doubt that a certain flexibility and elasticity of soul and conscience may make a man get on, as concerns this world, when rigid integrity would stand in his way. Nothing would be easier than to mention striking instances in which men threw away their chance of the highest places by an act of injudicious honesty. A trader who never puffs his wares as better than they really are may not drive such a business as the brazen individual who never spares the trumpet. A preacher who sets forth sound doctrine to people who have not been accustomed to it, and who do not want it, may make himself for a time obnoxious enough. But let us speak the truth and live the truth, no matter what we may lose by it.

(Charles Garrett.)

I. THE COMMAND GIVEN. "Let not the army of Israel go with thee."

1. It shows us God's disapproval of union with the enemies of the truth. The children of Ephraim had departed from the Lord, His favour was withdrawn from them: Judah, if he hope for success, must send such helpers away. Yes, truly "the friendship of the world is enmity with God." To join affinity with such, as Amaziah did, is to run into temptation and a snare.

2. But the command of God thus given leads us to notice, further, that His disappointment of our hopes is in mercy, not in wrath. Perhaps to the mind of Amaziah this only was wanting to ensure victory: his army was strong, and could he but procure this aid from Israel all would be secure; and yet no sooner are they come than the command is given. It is often thus in God's dealings with our souls. "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." "Could I but be placed in such circumstances," saith one, "Were but this diffficulty removed." is the thought of another, "then should I grow in grace, and prosper in my soul." But it cannot be, and you are discouraged. And yet it is in mercy, not in wrath, that your wishes are crossed.

3. Observe that the command calls for immediate compliance. Not after aid received in the battle, but now in the face of danger, at the risk of injury from those sent away, injury, too, that was not feared without cause (ver. 13). God's command will not bear delay.

II. THE DIFFICULTY STARTED. "And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?" With some awe upon his mind, a conviction of the necessity of obedience, Amaziah liked not the cost. This is the difficulty proposed, "What shall we do for he hundred talents?" There was the divided mind On the one side was his fear of the displeasure of the Lord, without whose help he well knew he could not prosper; on the other side the hundred talents weighed down his purpose — he could not brook the loss of so large a sum. Ah! who would not obey God if he might do it without cost? Who would not be the servant of Christ, if he might be so without pains? Sin must be parted with. "What shall we do for the hundred talents?" We go to the man that has long yielded to his evil habits. We tell him of the door of mercy yet open. The sigh breaks forth as we speak. He owns it "too true." He is "almost persuaded to be a Christian." But, no, "What shall we do for the hundred talents?"

III. THE UNANSWERABLE REPLY. "And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this."

1. Observe — There is no promise of the restoration of the sum. The command of God was the solid ground on which the prophet claimed obedience of the king. And it is even here we too rest our appeal. "Thus saith the Lord." In urging on you to "yield yourselves unto God," we cannot — we may not — tell you that no difficulties are in the way. We have indeed that overwhelming motive to present, the safety of the soul.

2. Amaziah is referred to the almighty power of Him whose command he is called on to obey. "God is able to give thee much more than this." As though the prophet had said, "Thou art ready to sorrow for the hundred talents uselessly bestowed if now to be forfeited, but whose is the silver and the gold? Grudge not, then, this sum at His word, who bids thee yield it for thine own welfare." For is it dignity, the estimation of others, that you fear to give up? are these "the hundred talents" you are unwilling to part with? What dignity of earth can be compared to that high-sounding and real — not empty — title, "heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ"? — "Ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Is it riches, or pleasures, the vanity of life, that seem not vain to you? God is able to give, yea, will give you much more than this. He will give you pardon, that blessed gift — pardon for all thy sins, thy multiplied, aggravated, fearful transgressions — "And in the world to come eternal life."

(F. Storr, M.A.)

Amaziah seemed to be a soldier, and little else. He was devoured by military ambition and vainglory. He coveted the domains of his neighbors. He was greedy of conquest. He dared not attack Israel, but on the other side lay the lands of the Edomites. He wanted to fight. There was probably no reason why he should, for the children of Seir had evidently done nothing to provoke an attack, or we should have had an account of it. But Amaziah must have more territory, and impelled by such noble patriotism, he disciplined his people into a large army. Desiring to be on the safe side, he bargained for one hundred thousand men of Israel, and, in order to secure them, he laid down a bounty of one hundred talents of silver. With these men of Ephraim, hired with the silver talents, he possessed an army of about four hundred thousand men. All things are in readiness, and he is about to start out on his grand mission of punishing a people who held lands near him, when a prophet confronts with the intelligence that if he takes the troops of Israel with him he shall be defeated. Now comes a struggle in the king's mind. He was bent upon war, and could not brook the idea of defeat, but to insure victory he must send the Ephraimites home. Now, he had given these men a hundred talents of silver! What about them? The command of God had touched his pocket-nerve, and it had sent a sensitive thrill through his whole being. Amaziah is not the only man that has been compelled to choose between obedience and self-denial.

I. Consider, then, the fact that MEN'S APPARENT INTERESTS ARE SOMETIMES OPPOSED BY THE COMMANDS OF GOD. Very frequently men's practices find such opposition; and their desires are fulfilled very often against the clamourings of their consciences. But I have affirmed something beyond this — that a man's wholesome interests, as they appear to his view, are sometimes in direct opposition to God's commands. I do not think that a man will be allowed to enter upon a course inimical to God's will who starts out by committing his way entirely to Divine guidance. God looks out for such a man, and orders his ways so that his interests and the Divine will conform. But a great many start out in the pursuit of business without any consideration of God. With the majority of men, when the time comes to meet the question, "What shall I do?" the answer is prompted more by expediency than by duty. One man argues, "I can make more money in dry goods than in groceries, so I'll deal in dry goods. But there's more money in whisky, so I think I'll open a saloon." He looks at trade from his own standpoint. I believe that some men really think that they are justified in such a course; they think that a man ought to look after his own interests; that that is the first thing to be consulted; and there never was a greater mistake made in this selfish world! The truth is, that when a man deliberately marks out a course in life, and determines to pursue it, without any consideration of God or his fellow-men, he is engaged in a very dangerous business. There are some other things to consider besides making money. Soul-culture, helpfulness of his fellows, influence for Christ, the increasing light of a pious life; these things are to be taken into the account, or he may look for some period of his life when the alternative will be between obedience and self-denial, or disobedience and defeat.

II. WHERE THIS IS THE CASE APPARENT INTERESTS ARE TO BE SACRIFICED. God looks upon temporal matters as if they were subordinate to a higher good. Men look upon them as if they were the highest good attainable. God puts His service and the duties of religion above everything else. Men regard religion as a secondary consideration. Do you never hear men say, "I would engage in religious matters if I had time"? You mark a man's absence from the holy Sabbath worship; he complains, "I feel so tired when Sunday comes, I must rest." So you see men think more of their hundred talents of silver than of obedience to God. But they have Amaziah's protest: "What shall we do for the hundred talents of silver?" The answer is plain enough. Let them go. "What!" cries the overworked business man, "leave my store full of customers just because it is the hour of prayer?" "What!" cries the professional man, "suspend my important studies for unprofitable religious occupation? Not much!" "What!" cries the mechanic, "work hard all week and Sunday too?" "What shall we do for the hundred talents that are involved?" In such embarrassing situations the thing to do is what Amaziah did. He sent home the men of Ephraim, and he lost the hundred talents of silver. If your business stands between you and God, let it go!

III. For I beg you to note that the ALTERNATIVE LIES BETWEEN TOTAL DEFEAT AND INCREASED GOOD. Amaziah was made to select between receiving the value of his invested money and suffering disaster in the prosecution of his scheme. He might do as he pleased, but he might know what to expect. That is the alternative placed before all men. Disobedience leads to defeat. Men may discard the commands of God, but not with impunity. Obedience to the Divine will is the only safeguard against temporal and spiritual disaster. It is a matter that enters into a man's private life. It does not concern those employments alone which are confessedly unrighteous, it is a law affecting the man who persists in a course when God has called him in another direction, as well as he who persists in iniquitous practices. In either case the safest thing to do is to give up the silver, without one hesitating thought.

(Lansing Burrows.)

The subject brought before us in the text is the weighing of consequences.

1. In a certain sense it is the doing of a fool to disdain consequences; and it is the glory of a rational being that he can calculate, and weigh, and be guided by, consequences.

2. And yet there are cases in which to resolutely refuse to take into view what may be the consequences of our conduct, is heroism; is Christianity in its highest and noblest development. Such was the case with the three Jews in Babylon; Moses; Paul.

3. Amaziah's history will make it plain to us, when we should weigh consequences and be guided by them; and when we should disregard them, and refuse to take them into account at all. He was not wrong in naming the money loss to the prophet. He was wrong in regarding this difficulty as a fatal objection to his obeying God's command. He not only states his difficulty, but seems disposed to act upon it.

4. This brings us to the great principle which should guide all wise Christian people in regard to the consideration of consequences. Wherever we are sure that duty leads, wherever we are sure God bids us go, then that way we should go, whatever and however painful the consequences may be. In all other cases a prudent Christian man will weigh the consequences of what he may think of doing, and be guided by the consideration of them.

5. To disdain consequences is not to be done in a boasting, vainglorious spirit. The true proof of a man disdaining consequences is that he should disdain them, not when they are in the distance, coming, but when they are present realities; when they are come.

6. The prophet's reply to the king's difficulty is worthy of being laid to heart: "The Lord is able to give thee much more than this." This means that it is worth our while to obey God's will; that though at first we may lose by doing so, we shall gain more than we shall lose. This truly is not a disdaining of consequences; it is a fuller and truer weighing of them. It is to look further on: it is to throw eternity into the scale of duty and interest.

(A. K. H. Boyd.)

I. HOW COMMONLY THE QUESTION IS URGED, "What shall we do for the hundred talents?" We are not of those who would make light of the sacrifices which must be made by such as would live godly in Christ Jesus. Christ speaks of a "yoke," of "taking up the cross," of "forsaking all," of "cutting off the right hand," of "plucking out the right eye." So that the parallel is most exact between the circumstances of ourselves and those of Amaziah.

1. Consider the case of the young who are urged to the remembering of their Creator and the setting of their affections on things above. If by entreaty and warning we prevail on them to hesitate ere they launch on a course of disobedience to God's commands, the thought of all we ask them to surrender comes upon them with great power, and they feel as though it were unreasonable to summon them to such a sacrifice. And therefore their speech is virtually, "What shall we do for the hundred talents?"

2. Take again the case of the tradesman whose interest seems to demand the profanation of the Sabbath. In asking him to close his shop on the day that perhaps procures him more profit than can be wrung from all the rest of the week, you ask him to make what on mere human principles is scarcely a credible sacrifice.

II. HOW SUFFICIENT AN ANSWER THERE IS IN THE STATEMENT, "The Lord is able to give thee much more than this." It is the apparent conflict between interest and duty which often induces disobedience to God. Duty and interest can never be really opposed. The righteousness of God's moral government requires that whatever He has made it our duty should also be our interest to perform. But still there is an apparent conflict. This world would cease to be a place of probation if it were always manifest that duty and interest lie in the same direction. When tempted to do wrong for the sake of present advantage, let us magnify the remunerating power of God. If David could say, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee," no text can be more suitable than this one for the talisman of the merchant as he prosecutes the enterprises of commerce, "The Lord is able to give thee much more than this."

(Henry Melvill, B.D.)

The claims of duty are stronger even than those of affection. The tenderst tie on earth should never induce us to set them aside. The sense of duty which distinguished some of the patriots of ancient Rome was extraordinary. After the expulsion of King Tarquin, a conspiracy was formed for the purpose of effecting his return. It was found out by the authorities; and it was also found that Titus and Tiberius, the two sons of Brutus, the consul, were the principal conspirators. People naturally speculated as to how the consul would act in the matter; but he put an end to all controversy by condemning his two sons to death along with the rest; nay, on the day of execution, he commanded the sentence of the law to be carried out on them first of all. "But," you may say, "perhaps he did not love his sons as fathers generally do." On the contrary, the crowd who watched his countenance on the occasion could perceive that there was a terrible struggle within; so that they pitied the grief of the father no less than they admired the bravery of the patriot. Here, then, was a man who preferred duty to affection — the safety of his country to the life of his sons.

(Henry Melvill, B. D.)

Aaron, Amaziah, Ammonites, Amos, Amoz, Arabians, Azariah, Hananiah, Isaiah, Jecholiah, Jecoliah, Jeiel, Jotham, Maaseiah, Maonites, Mehunim, Meunim, Meunites, Uzziah, Zechariah
Angle, Ashdod, Corner Gate, Egypt, Eloth, Gath, Gurbaal, Jabneh, Jerusalem, Shephelah, Valley Gate
Amaziah, Amazi'ah, Cause, Instead, Judah, Reign, Room, Sixteen, Uzziah, Uzzi'ah
1. Uzziah succeeding, and reigning well in the days of Zechariah, prospers
16. Waxing proud, he invades the priest's office, and is smitten with leprosy
22. He dies, and Jotham succeeds him

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Chronicles 26:1-23

     5366   king

Jabneh. Jamnia.
...Pliny doth dispose the towns here in this order;--"Azotus, the two Jamnes, Joppe."--R. Benjamin, in the order backward, thus,--"Joppah, Jabneh, Azotus." That is Jabneh with this author, that is Jaminia with the other. A remembrance of this place is in 2 Chronicles 26:6: but the chief fame of it is for the Sanhedrim, that was placed there, both before the destruction of Jerusalem and after. Rabban Gamaliel, St. Paul's master, first presided there. Under whom came forth that cursed form of prayer,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The Great Slaughters and Sacrilege that were in Jerusalem.
1. Accordingly Simon would not suffer Matthias, by whose means he got possession of the city, to go off without torment. This Matthias was the son of Boethus, and was one of the high priests, one that had been very faithful to the people, and in great esteem with them; he, when the multitude were distressed by the zealots, among whom John was numbered, persuaded the people to admit this Simon to come in to assist them, while he had made no terms with him, nor expected any thing that was evil from
Flavius Josephus—The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem

Of Preparation.
That a Christian ought necessarily to prepare himself before he presume to be a partaker of the holy communion, may evidently appear by five reasons:-- First, Because it is God's commandment; for if he commanded, under the pain of death, that none uncircumcised should eat the paschal lamb (Exod. xii. 48), nor any circumcised under four days preparation, how much greater preparation does he require of him that comes to receive the sacrament of his body and blood? which, as it succeeds, so doth it
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments.' Deut 27: 9, 10. What is the duty which God requireth of man? Obedience to his revealed will. It is not enough to hear God's voice, but we must obey. Obedience is a part of the honour we owe to God. If then I be a Father, where is my honour?' Mal 1: 6. Obedience carries in it the life-blood of religion. Obey the voice of the Lord
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The comparative indifference with which Chronicles is regarded in modern times by all but professional scholars seems to have been shared by the ancient Jewish church. Though written by the same hand as wrote Ezra-Nehemiah, and forming, together with these books, a continuous history of Judah, it is placed after them in the Hebrew Bible, of which it forms the concluding book; and this no doubt points to the fact that it attained canonical distinction later than they. Nor is this unnatural. The book
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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