Originally posted: 5/29/2020
And the man of God answered, “The Lord has much more to give you than this,” (25:9).
Another new king, Amaziah; and the commentary of his reign starts out on a positive note… well, sort of.
He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart, (25:2).
However, his halfheartedness ended up being his demise. Because his heart was divided, other attractions slipped in to capture his attention, and ultimately his devotion. And this misplaced devotion resulted in his downfall, demise and death. Now, the commentary doesn’t sound positive at all.
Amaziah did some things right. He brought justice down on the assassins of his father; but he did not mete out any punishment on their children “…as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the Lord commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin,” (25:4).
So far so good. And as he faces a major conflict with the army of Seir, he wholeheartedly prepares for the battle in gathering and numbering his troops. However, a half-heart for the Lord led him to halfway dependence, resulting in his attempt to buy help from those whom God had rejected, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim,” (25:9).
And after the man of God comes with the word of correction, his half-heart speaks up.
Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” (25:9).
In modern day vernacular, “Hey I spent good money for that!”
Reading this portrayal of King Amaziah took me back to one of the favorite childhood books I so loved reading to my children when they were young: Adventures of Adam Raccoon: Lost Woods, by Glen Keane. Considering that both my children are now in their thirties says a lot about the impact left by this short story.
The Adventures of Adam Raccoon series is set in the Master’s Wood. It is a place filled with the natural beauty of God’s creation and lovingly ruled under the watchful care of King Aren the Lion. But it is also a place of danger with wild wolves lurking in the shadows. In order to enjoy safety, it was imperative that Adam Raccoon, along with his friends living in King Aren’s kingdom, stick close to their King. In Lost Woods, King Aren invites Adam to come and take a walk with him. So excited to be asked, Adam gathers all his favorite possessions to get ready for their adventure. Lovingly, the King tells Adam that he doesn’t need all his things; “they will only get in the way.” But Adam insists; and because he cannot see the footsteps of the King for all his stuff, as he attempts to cross the creek behind the King, Adam loses his footing. Adam frantically watches all his stuff floating away, but somehow manages to save his favorite red bouncy ball. Once again King Aren gently warns it will only get in his way. But little Adam remains insistent. And then… well, you’ll have to read the rest for yourself!
There is a vivid parallel between that little red bouncy ball and Amaziah’s question wondering about the money he had parted with.
Both represent the things that distract and challenge the heart’s attention and affection while trying to walk with the King.
And just as King Aren counseled little Adam, the man of God spoke the truth of His amazing and generous grace.
And the man of God answered, “The Lord has much more to give you than this,” (25:9).
Consider Him Who Has Much More to Give
He Has Much More to Give than we can even begin to imagine.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— (1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV emphasis added).
- He Has Much More to Give, than we can imagine, Prepared by His Divine Power.
- seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Son.
- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Holy Spirit.
- If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Word.
- for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God, (1 Peter 1:23).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Grace.
- For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Love.
- See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are… (1 John 3:1).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Abundant Life.
- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Eternal Life.
- “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand,” (John 10:28).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in His Good and Perfect Gifts.
- Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, (James 1:17).
- He Has Much More to Give than we can imagine, Given in Every Spiritual Blessing.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3).
- And He Has So Much More to Give than we can imagine… Immeasurably More.
- And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written, (John 21:25).
- Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen, (Ephesians 3:20-21 BSB).
How do we respond to Him Who Has Much More to Give?
Amaziah continued to be moved by his half-heart, until his half-heart became his whole heart pursuing the false and feckless gods of the very nation God had empowered him to conquer.
Now after Amaziah came from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought the gods of the sons of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down before them and burned incense to them. 15 Then the anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?” (25:14-15).
And as demonstrated in the life of Amaziah, a half-heart is sure to lead us into dangerous territory.
As he was talking with him, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” Then the prophet stopped and said, “I know that God has planned to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel,” (25:16).
As we consider the lessons to be learned from one who “did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart,” it becomes increasingly clear why the Lord repeatedly instructs His children on our need to love Him with a whole heart. And we know when God repeats Himself, it is for our good; after all, He Has So Much More to Give than we can ever imagine; and So Much More to Give than we can ever give back to Him.
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets,” (Matthew 22:37-40).
“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these,” (Mark 12:30-31).
Oh, that we would turn away from every distraction, every red bouncy ball tugging after our heart’s affection. Let us wholeheartedly turn to Him in love and adoration with all that we are, to follow only Him Who Has Much More to Give.
And while the above passages referred to in the Consider section are in nowise a comprehensive list of all He has Given and the Much More He Has to Give, let us pray He will move us to take hold of His truths revealed in His Word, that He would grow us in our faith to trust and seek after His plans and purposes for us.
And while we can’t even begin to fathom it all, when we consider the Greatest Gift ever given, how can we possibly doubt Him Who Has Much More to Give?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32).