2 Kings 14* Amaziah's good reign. (1-7) Amaziah provokes Jehoash king ofIsrael, and is overcome. (8-14) He is slain by conspirators.(15-22) Wicked reign of Jeroboam II. (23-29)1-7 Amaziah began well, but did not go on so. It is not enoughto do that which our pious predecessors did, merely to keep upthe common usage, but we must do it as they did, from the sameprinciple of faith and devotion, and with the same sincerity andresolution. 8-14 For some time after the division of the kingdoms, Judahsuffered much from the enmity of Israel. After Asa's time, itsuffered more by the friendship of Israel, and by the alliancemade with them. Now we meet with hostility between them again.How may a humble man smile to hear two proud and scornful menset their wits on work, to vilify and undervalue one another!Unholy success excites pride; pride excites contentions. Theeffects of pride in others, are insufferable to those who areproud themselves. These are the sources of trouble and sin inprivate life; but when they arise between princes, they becomethe misery of their whole kingdoms. Jehoash shows Amaziah thefolly of his challenge; Thine heart has lifted thee up. The rootof all sin is in the heart, thence it flows. It is notProvidence, the event, the occasion, whatever it is, that makesmen proud, secure, discontented, or the like, but their ownhearts do it. 15-22 Amaziah survived his conqueror fifteen years. He wasslain by his own subjects. Azariah, or Uzziah, seems to havebeen very young when his father was slain. Though the years ofhis reign are reckoned from that event, he was not fully madeking till eleven years afterwards. 23-29 God raised up the prophet Jonah, and by him declared thepurposes of his favour to Israel. It is a sign that God has notcast off his people, if he continues faithful ministers amongthem. Two reasons are given why God blessed them with thosevictories: 1. Because the distress was very great, which madethem objects of his compassion. 2. Because the decree was notyet gone forth for their destruction. Many prophets there hadbeen in Israel, but none left prophecies in writing till thisage, and their prophecies are part of the Bible. Hosea began toprophesy in the reign of this Jeroboam. At the same time Amosprophesied; soon after Micah, then Isaiah, in the days of Ahazand Hezekiah. Thus God, in the darkest and most degenerate agesof the church, raised up some to be burning and shining lightsin it; to their own age, by their preaching and living, and afew by their writings, to reflect light upon us in the lasttimes.
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