2 Chronicles 24, 25, 26
Focus Verse: And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. – 2 Chronicles 25:2
The latter part of this verse explains why the three kings in the three chapters of 2 Chronicles 24, 25, and 26 started off well in serving God, but ultimately failed. Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah all did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but none of them did so with a whole heart.
In the case of Joash, he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. As soon as Jehoiada died, Joash stopped doing what was right. He abandoned the house of the Lord. He started serving false gods such as the Asherim and idols. He even had Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, stoned to death. This shows that Joash was not doing right because he personally loved God. He was only doing right out of eyeservice, to please Jehoiada. He only loved and served God half heartedly, not with a whole heart.
In the case of Amaziah, as soon as God gave him several victories in war, Amaziah turned away from God. I really don’t know what Amaziah was thinking, but he turned from serving the God who had given him victory and began serving the false gods of the very men who he had defeated. He worshiped them. He made offerings to them. And as a result, he was defeated.
In the case of Uzziah, he started off very well. He was only sixteen years old when he became king and Scripture says that “he set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.” Uzziah experienced victory in battle, and because of God’s help, he became very strong and his fame spread throughout the region. As he grew strong, however, Uzziah also grew proud and his pride led to his destruction. He failed to remember that his prosperity and strength was not because of him, but because he sought the Lord. As soon as Uzziah stopped seeking the Lord, he stopped being prosperous and strong.
This is why Jesus encouraged us to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” If we only love God with half or a part of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then we leave room to love something else or someone else and that something or someone else will eventually push God out. When it comes to following, loving, and serving God, we must be all in and do so with a whole heart, or we will end up starting off well and then fading out just as Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah did.